More American commuters are choosing to bike to work these days. Though 90 percent of commuters still drive or ride commuter rail to work, the percentage of those choosing to pedal into the office has risen 60 percent in the past ten years. While that may not seem like a big jump over such a span of time, it does signal a widening understanding and acceptance of other options.
CEO of 5WPR Ronn Torossian says this trend, which is increasing, signals a public relations opportunity for the bicycling industry.
First, the report in question offers a demographic breakdown. Men are slightly more likely to choose to cycle than women. While this gap is not tremendous, it can be instructive for a company trying to pare down its target market, or develop its next marketing campaign.
Further, younger single adults are more likely to cycle than their older, married counterparts. This adds a lifestyle component to the potential PR direction, a vital component of any campaign that addresses a change in lifestyle.
Best of all, this trend is being encouraged not just by the free market, but also by public money and infrastructure projects. Cities are investing more in safer bike lanes, and others are debuting bike sharing opportunities that make it even easier to switch to two-wheeled travel.
Torossian says that culture and geography also play a part in this trend, and should not be ignored by any company interested in reaching this market. Portland, for instance, has a high rate of bicycle commuters, more than 6%, which is one of the highest rates of any municipality in the nation.
Finally, Ronn Torossian said any PR campaign should also include a component that makes it easier for the greater community to enthusiastically accept, or at least tolerate, the cultural shift that comes with changing transportation options. Even if more people are trying it, and the government is behind it, it is still paramount to win hearts and minds.