Posts Tagged ‘Trends’


Sunday, October 11th, 2009

The L.A. Times has an interesting article about Gen Y’s apparent disinterest in car culture.

Between January and August, the market research firm analyzed hundreds of thousands of “conversations” on auto-related sites such as Autoblog, personal blogs and social networks such as Twitter and Facebook.

The goal was to gauge the perceptions of Generation Y (those born in the 1980s and early 1990s) toward the automotive industry in general, as well as toward specific vehicle brands. The analysis divided Gen Y into teens (12-18) and “early careerists” (22-29).

According to J.D. Power, “Online discussions by teens indicate shifts in perceptions regarding the necessity of and desire to have cars.”

One interesting comment added:

My boys, ages 20 and 17, have zero interest in cars, getting a license, or owning one, despite our urging. Don’t know what it is, but it’s there. They both ride bikes all over.

Is this truly a generational change or just a reflection of the economy?

An Update on Cheap Oil and Biking

Sunday, December 14th, 2008

High oil prices prompted Americans use their bike more than their car.  Last month we wrote about the falling price of oil and how people were still biking more.

Since then the prices of oil has dropped even more.

Still, the October driving numbers are down according to the Federal Highway Administration:

Americans drove more than 100 billion fewer miles between November 2007 and October 2008 than the same period a year earlier, said U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary E. Peters, making it the largest continuous decline in American driving in history.

The Secretary noted that Americans drove 3.5 percent less, or 8.9 billion fewer vehicle miles traveled (VMT), in October 2008 than October 2007, making it the sharpest decline of any October since 1971.

Of course during this downturn, bike commuting and public transit ridership have increased.

And, these changes are not just due to high oil prices.  (more…)

Will Cheap Oil sink the Bike Boom?

Saturday, November 1st, 2008

Gasoline at $4 per gallon did wonders for promoting bikes as a lean and green solution.

The price of oil has dropped 55% since July. Local gas prices are “falling like leaves.”  Daylight is getting more scarce and the temperatures are dropping.   All these factors might mean more bike commuters will be hopping back into their cars.

We could speculate on this, but the results will come out soon enough.

The August report from the Federal Highway Administration was recently released.  In summary, vehicle travel dropped 5.6% in August (a 15 billion mile decrease.)  The culmulative vehicle miles for 2008 are down 3.3% or 67.2 billion miles.

Those decreases aren’t all attributable to more bike commuters.

According to a special report from Inrix, “While consumers react to the high costs of fuel by decreasing all driving, the most significant impact to consumers is the reduction of discretionary driving.”

Even so, the report’s survey found that higher gas prices caused 8% of the respondents to bike (and use scooters) more.  That compares well with increases in car pooling (9%) and public transit (7%).

Inrix also predicts that the drop in gas prices will not lead to significant increases in driving due to the weak economy.   Perhaps the interest in bike will continue

Commuters joining walkers, bikers on recreation trails

Saturday, October 25th, 2008

The Capital News Service ran an interesting article today on trails and their increased use for transportation.

The Lansing-based Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance also supports linking trails across the state.

It works with local and state agencies in organizing discussions and outlining criteria for selecting corridors to develop.

Nancy Krupiarz, executive director of the alliance, said her organization gears trail expansion toward a non-motorized network for bicyclists. Widening road shoulders for bike lanes and adding signs to alert motorists are part of the initiative.

“Urban trails get more use as a transportation aspect when they are well-connected to businesses and shipping districts,’ said Krupiarz.

The alliance is involved in a plan to add a non-motorized network of bike paths around Detroit. The system will connect neighborhoods, schools, parks, businesses and other major destinations around the city.

The article also discusses Detroit’s recently endorsed non-motorized master plan.

Link: Capital News Service article

It’s Official: Bike Sales are Skyrocketing

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008
Sue Moretto and Harriet Saperstein ride in Detroit

Sue Moretto and Harriet Saperstein ride in Detroit

It certainly seems like there are more people riding bikes recently. Now Bikes Belong has surveyed bike shops around the U.S. These shops are seeing a significant increase in sales.

Here are the highlights:

The majority of retailers who responded said their sales of transportation-related bicycles, accessories, and service have increased in 2008 compared to 2007:

  • 73% said they are selling more bikes.
  • 84% said they are selling more accessories.
  • 88% said they are selling more service.

Is this increase in sales because of high gas prices? Most retailers who we surveyed think so:

  • 95% of shops said customers cited high gas prices as a reason for their transportation-related purchases.
  • 80% of retailers said gas prices were helping them sell more bikes for transportation.
  • 86% thought accessory sales were getting a boost.
  • 89% said they were selling more service because of high gas prices.

Many new customers are dusting off old bikes and bringing them in for repair. There appears to be a surge of interest in riding bicycles for short trips, errands, and commuting.