Statistics New Zealand has released the 2013 travel to work census data, and cycling participation has increased since the previous census was taken. In 2006, the proportion of people cycling to work on census day was 2.5% nationwide. By 2013, this had increased to 2.9%, which represents an increase of 13%. There's no surprise in this, and this is certainly consistent with our impression that more people are interested in cycling. As yet, only the national data have been released, and if you are interested in a breakdown by region, you either have to pay for the data, or wait until February 2014, when those details will be released to the public. Oh, and in case you are wondering, driving has remained pretty much the same (a drop in 0.3% was recorded).
Staff working for road controlling authorities or consultants should recognise this increase in popularity, and if there are gaps in your professional knowledge, attending one of our training courses might be a good idea.
And if you wonder why the data in the above graph are different from what was published in The New Zealand Herald, there are different ways of how the census data can be interpreted. The 'main means of travel to work' contains two categories that we did not include in our analysis: 'worked at home' and 'did not go to work today'. When the 'worked at home' values are added to the travel data, the bike to work participation matches the values published in that newspaper publication.