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Representative Survey

Cycling Monitor Germany 2019

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© Doris Reichel

The use of bicycles in Germany is continuing to rise: 44 percent of people in Germany regularly use a bicycle. This means that more people cycle every day or several times a week than in the previous year's studies. 41 percent of those surveyed intend to use the bicycle more frequently in the future. This is shown by the representative population survey "Cycling Monitor 2019", which is commissioned every two years by the Federal Ministry of Transport and carried out for the sixth time by the SINUS Institute.

Use of bicycles continues to rise - pedelecs are very popular

The pedelec is the most popular means of transport: 83 percent of pedelec riders like to use a pedelec very much, or rather like to use it. In addition, the pedelec ranks first among the types of bicycle that potential bicycle buyers in Germany want to buy next. 42 percent of potential buyers intend to buy a pedelec in the next twelve months (=13 percent of people in Germany), rank 2: conventional bicycle 32 percent (10 percent of the population, rank 3: mountain bike 22 percent (7 percent of the population).

14 percent of households in Germany already own a pedelec. In general, bicycles are widespread: In 76 percent of households at least one bicycle (without electric assistance) is available.

Germany's cyclists feel safer and wear helmets more often

Cyclists' feeling of safety is increasing: 56 percent of cyclists say that they feel very or rather safe on the road when they cycle. In 2017, 53% of cyclists had this feeling and in 2015, 51% of cyclists felt this way. Furthermore, the use of helmets is increasing among cyclists: According to the 2019 study, 38% of cyclists wear a helmet all the time or most of the time - this figure was 30% in 2017 and 31% in 2015.

The most urgent demands on politicians in terms of bicycle traffic are

  • Build more cycle paths (60 percent)
  • Better separation of cyclists from car drivers (53 percent) and pedestrians (45 percent)
  • Installing more protective and cycle lanes (44 percent)
  • Safe bicycle parking facilities (44 percent)
  • Set up more cycle paths (43 percent)

Comparison of urban and rural areas

The clearest differences between urban and rural areas can be seen in regular bicycle use (45 percent of respondents vs. 33 percent).

The most frequently used infrastructure for cycling in rural areas is the roadway without a marked cycle lane (51 percent), in the city the roadway with a separately marked cycle lane (53 percent). Whereas in the countryside 80 percent of cyclists feel unsafe on the most frequently used infrastructure, in the city this figure is only 34 percent. In the countryside, the reason for insecurity lies particularly with reckless motorists (62 percent), while in the cities too much traffic is the most frequently cited cause of insecurity (69 percent).

Use and popularity of the car declines

The car is used less frequently and is also losing popularity. Nevertheless, it is and remains the most frequently used means of transport in Germany: According to Cycling Monitor 2019, 61 percent of Germans regularly use a car (daily or several times a week in 2017: 64 percent, 2015: 70 percent).

High awareness, but low use of bike sharing and cargo bikes

The bicycle market is very dynamic. For example, the awareness of bicycle innovations such as bike-sharing or cargo bikes is very high among the population: 69 percent have already heard of bike-sharing and 54 percent know cargo bikes. However, only a small part of the population uses these new services and products in their everyday lives: 17 percent of Germans have already used bike sharing, but only 3 percent use bike sharing at least several times a month and 2 percent of Germans generally use cargo bikes.

About the study

Every two years, the Bicycle Monitor surveys the subjective mood of cyclists in Germany. In 2019, 3,053 citizens between the ages of 14 and 69 were surveyed by Sinus Markt- und Sozialforschung GmbH on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Transport. The Bicycle Monitor is funded by the BMVI as part of the National Cycling Plan 2020.