Parisians Prefer the Bike to the Car New Study Reveals
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The study from Institut Paris Région (IPR) reveals that in 2023, an average of 34.5 million trips were recorded per working day in the Paris region (compared with 29 million on Saturdays and 19 million on Sundays), for an average of 3.8 trips per person per day. Travel time, all reasons and modes combined, averages 92 minutes per weekday (67 minutes on Saturdays and 49 minutes on Sundays). Work is the main reason for commuting, accounting for 39% of trips and 50% of travel time on a working day, with an average duration of 38 minutes. If the private car remains the most widely used means of transport in the region (34%), ahead of walking (30%) and public transport (26%), this is mainly due to its preponderance in the inner suburbs, where distances are longer and public transport less dense.

In Paris the bike takes over as favorite means of transport

In the capital, the role of the car is more limited, accounting for just 4.3% of trips within the city limits. This is considerably less than the share of journeys made ... by bicycle (11.2%)! This evolution is probably due to changes in behavior since the Covid-19 was launched, to climate awareness and also, no doubt, to city policy, which encourages this mode of transport. On the one hand there are plenty of new cycle paths and several bike-purchase subsidies which are helping Parisians convert to a bike. The city boasts more than 200 km of bike routes, with a goal to double this figure and increase bike trips to 15% of all trips by the end of 2024. This ambitious plan underscores Paris' dedication to becoming a bike-friendly city, aiming to improve the cycling experience and ensure safety for all cyclists​​.

To the detriment of the car, the price of SUV parking, an ongoing reduction in parking spaces, the rise of one-way streets, and other measures helped Parisians rethink the use of four-wheelers in their city. A real boon for bicycle use, which represented less than 3% of journeys in Paris in 2010 according to a study by the same Institut Paris Région published in 2019. This progression is unlikely to stop. According to Paris City Hall's counting system, cycle path ridership doubled between October 2022 and October 2023.

"We need real intermodality for commuters, so as not to clog up the streets of Paris,"
Valérie Pécresse, President Île-de-France Mobilités (IDFM).

A change in usage that doesn't just concern Parisians, since bicycles (14%) also outnumber cars (11.8%) in exchanges between the capital and the inner suburbs. The gap is even greater during the morning rush hour (between 8 and 9 a.m.), when 18.9% of trips are made by bicycle, compared with just 6.6% by car. Those who have to pass through a gateway to the capital at 8.30 a.m. understand this choice. The success of the bike is accompanied by a greater variety of modes of transport used by Parisians. Previously more accustomed to using public transport or the car, or to walking, more and more are opting for multimodal travel: 25% of working people use two different modes of transport from one day to the next.

Île-de-France: 130,000 bicycle parking spaces by 2030

"Release 130,000 bicycle parking spaces by 2030." This promise was made by Île-de-France Mobilités (IDFM) president Valérie Pécresse, who was visiting the Gare du Nord bicycle parking site in Paris early April. This follows on from the figure of 100,000 spaces announced for 2020. Of the 130,000 spaces announced, around 30,000 will be installed near Grand Paris Express stations, on metro lines 15 to 18, according to IDFM. For Valérie Pécresse (LR), "we need to accelerate the movement near SNCF stations, metro, RER and tramway stations".

Photos courtesy of Michael Brecht.