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Transportation

The Poor Bike, the Rich Bike-Share

A chart-filled look at the cycling gap that’s emerged in U.S. cities.
A cyclist rides by a Pittsburgh bike-share station in June 2015.
A cyclist rides by a Pittsburgh bike-share station in June 2015.AP Photo/Keith Srakocic

Over at The Urban Edge blog, Andrew Keatts reports that some bike advocates are worried their community isn’t representing the largest sub-population of cyclists: the poor. Even the term used by advocates to describe this group—“invisible cyclists”—is problematic in that it marginalizes the marginalized. To the detriment of disadvantaged riders, many urban bike movements have aligned with a city’s elite:

Keatts is right that lower-income households form the bulk of all bike riders, though he misses some of the strongest evidence to his point. The American Community Survey from 2008 to 2012 (also compiled in Commuting in America, 2013) breaks down bike travel by household income among the working population. Lower-income households bike to work in greater shares than higher-income homes: