Let’s start the retrospective with biking news since 2020 was a good year for biking and bike shops. For a few months the demand for bicycles was so high, people were placed on waiting lists to buy one. The “bike boom” was driven by both fears of using other transportation means and by finding new ways to exercise and spend time outdoors while staying safe and physically distant. Biking has seen a boom all over the world and many cities have started to expand the infrastructure and create incentives to keep the number of cyclists growing. Read more here.
And soon all these cyclists will have the chance to bike Coast-to-Coast. The Coast-to-Coast Bike Trail is making progress, in 2020 they have secured nearly $15 million in new funds and 100 miles of land. According to Rails-to-Trails conservancy, the entire project will extend 3,700 miles and include more than 1,900 miles of existing trails. The trail runs through 12 states and the District of Columbia. More than 1,700 miles will be added to fully connect the existing trails. Read more here.
But it was not all good news in the cycling world. Although bicycling was very popular last year, many bikeshare services have seen a decline in use. According to the United States Department of Transportation the number of trips on the eight largest docked bikeshare systems as of July 2020 was 4.5 million, down from 8.1 million trips in 2019. Read more here.
And it was not all good news for public transit. According to USA Facts, public transit ridership is 65% lower than before the pandemic. The drop in ridership had significant impacts on many transit agencies’ finances. But there are signs that ridership numbers are starting to rebound and financial help may be in sight. Read more here.
When riders go back to riding transit into New York, they will get to see a new Penn Station Hall. The Moynihan Train Hall, the area for Amtrak and Long Island Rail Road riders, has a new look, brighter, and more welcoming. Read more here.
Transit has seen low ridership partly because many people work from home and partly because some people have chosen to drive alone. And although there were not nearly as many people driving as in previous years, the number of fatal crashes per miles driven has increased. Part of the explanation is the increase in risky behavior. Read more here.
Finally, to end on a positive note, Walk and Bike to School continued to be celebrated in 2020. Although it required a little creativity on the part of both organizers and participants, communities managed to come together, while physically distanced, to celebrate Walk &Roll at Home & School. Some participants walked with their family after the remote learning day was over, some organized “Chalk the Walk” events and wrote inspiring and uplifting messages so that walkers would enjoy them on their morning walks. Read more here.
We wish you all a happy, healthy, and safe New Year!
The Coast-To-Coast Bike Trail That Will Soon Take You Through 12 U.S. States – TravelAwaits