Eco-Counter, a French business firm that has installed 12,000 automated people counters worldwide to measure bike and foot traffic, has recorded 3 years worth of data showing the bike ‘population’ growing at a rate that is actually faster than the human population. Peopleforbikes.org recently reported that the ‘global bike count has been rising 5 times faster than population growth.’
Since 2013, the company has used 1,500 of its people counters to track the changes in bike ‘population’ at these locations over the years.
However, Eco-Counter has yet to install any people counters in the world’s most populated areas. South and Southeast Asia are not represented nor is the world’s fastest growing area when it comes to population – West Africa. Due to these areas steadily getting richer, the use of bikes may be taking a hit as the more luxurious automobile begins to occupy more and more space on the road. Hangzhou, China has been resisting this movement and others, such as Dehli, India are working to reverse the trend.
As the only company that is attempting to take such a count, Eco-Counter has found a 5.4% growth in bike count since 2013 – very encouraging data for the first 2 years. This compared to global population growth rate of 1.2%, here’s what the data looks like in graph form.
In the 17 countries where the company has 10 or more counters, it looks at the national trend in bike count. According to the data collected, Switzerland has the fastest 2-year bike count increase with a 8.6% annual growth.
While the world’s economy booms and recedes, transportation will follow along with the trend. More business, more commerce, means more movement – more transportation needs to be met. Eco-Counter’s data shows bicycle-friendly progression in many areas of the world throughout the last two years. Will this data become representative of the globe as a whole? Only time will tell – but these can only be seen as progressive results.
“We can definitely see the push in the infrastructure and the policy and the interest,” said Jean-Francois Rheault, Eco-Counter’s director. “But it’s nice to see the push in the numbers.”
Not surprising considering the increasing popularity of bike sharing.