The Share of Denver Commuters Walking, Biking, and Riding Transit Rose a Sliver in 2016

Photo: David Sachs
Photo: David Sachs

New figures from the United States Census Bureau’s American Community Survey show a rise in the raw number of people opting to walk, bike, or take a bus or train to work — which should be expected in a growing city. The percentage of people commuting without a car, however, barely budged and sits below its peak.

To put things into perspective, Mayor Michael Hancock says he wants 30 percent of all commutes done by walking, biking, or transit by 2030. According to the new estimates, those commuters comprised just 13 percent of the public last year.

Here’s a more detailed look at the breakdown. (Take these numbers with a grain of salt. In some cases, the growth in mode share is so tiny that it falls within the survey’s margin of error.)

Walking

According to the ACS, 16,856 people typically walked to work in 2016 and accounted for 4.5 percent of all commuters. That’s 2,260 more pedestrian commuters than in 2015.

Commuting by foot peaked in 2012, when walking accounted for 5 percent of all commute trips.

Biking

The number of people who biked to work in 2016 — 8,181 — increased by only 500 people over 2015. That means people biking to work made up 2.2 percent of all commuters last year.

Biking to work peaked in 2012 when it accounted for 2.9 percent of all commutes.

Transit

Last year Denver saw an increase of 1,524 transit commuters over 2015. That’s good for 6.3 percent of all commuters, and up .2 percentage points.

Transit use peaked in 2008 at 9.1 percent.

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