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New Figures Show “Germany is a Nation of Cyclists”

Germany’s Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure released the latest version of its biannual Bicycle Monitor survey this week, saying the survey showed that “Germany is also a nation of cyclists.”

bicycling Berlin

Norbert Barthle, parliamentary state secretary at the ministry, said: “Cycling is advancing technically. GPS route planning, bicycle computers, and e-bikes are currently popular. That is something we have taken up with our ‘German unity cycle route‘ – here there will be free Wi-Fi, information via touchpads and apps as well as charging points for electric bicycles and smartphones.”

Here are some of the survey’s main findings:

  • Just over three quarters of Germans live in a household with one bicycle. The average household owns 2.4 bicycles.
  • Bicycle use has remained largely stable. 82% travel at least infrequently by bicycle, 62% at least occasionally, 38% use a bicycle “intensively” (daily or several times per week).
  • In comparison to other modes of transport, cars (“like using very much”) are more popular (at 57%) than motorcycles (36%) and bicycles (27%).
  • Bicycles are used primarily for shopping, short tasks, and excursions. 39% of those questioned travel to work or their place of education by bicycle. This is a small rise on 2013 (35%). Of these, almost one third of journeys by bicycle is combined with public transportation.
  • The level of satisfaction with the bicycle parking situation at work, places of education, and privately, is very high. However, at train stations, stops, and schools it is low.
  • Just over half of the cyclists feel safe in street traffic. 31% always or usually wear a helmet.
  • Wishes aimed at politicians include the expansion and/or construction of bicycle paths, safe bicycle parking facilities, and the improvement of lighting and surfaces of bicycle paths.
  • Communication has grown in importance: 39% would like to see campaigns for improved cooperation between all road users.
  • At the local municipal level, 82% would like to see greater involvement of politics in the topic of cycling.
  • 23% of those questioned are considering buying a bicycle within the next 12 months. Of these, 70% plan to buy a new bicycle. The average amount they would be willing to pay is currently €574 (approx. $648 or £445).
  • Interest in electric bicycles is high, at 49%. 29% would buy an e-bike if they were to buy a new bicycle. The highest level of interest is among those over the age of 50 (and in particular among men).

In August 2015 a representative sample of 2000 Germans between the ages of 14 and 69 completed the online questionnaire. The study was carried out by the independent Sinus-Institut and funded by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure.

You can find the full study here (in German).

All translations my own and without liability.

Image via Boris-B /

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Written By

has lived in Berlin since 2009. He reports on German industry, renewable energy, and transportation. An environmentalist and an optimist, Rob is always on the lookout for exciting technological developments. You can follow him on Twitter @compton_rl


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