Study Looks at Bicycle Use by Low-Income Latino Immigrants


By Charles Pekow — Low-income Latino immigrants remain underrepresented in the bicycle world, a study suggests. A survey in San Francisco of more than 2,000 people and interviews with a handful suggest many find affording a bicycle difficult and they are concerned about crime. The Mineta Transportation Institute in May 2016 released its findings in Exploring Bicycle and Public Transit Use by Low-Income Latino Immigrants: A Mixed-Methods Study in the San Francisco Bay Area. It’s not clear to what degree the findings would apply in other communities, but the institute says that we don’t know enough about this demographic group as little bicycle research has focused specifically on it.

The finding contradicts previous research. But it says Latino immigrants were more likely to ride a bicycle to a day labor site than to a regular job. It says a “significant minority of transit riders value bicycle access to transit, suggesting judicious investment in bike-transit integration is warranted.”

Interviewees said they had seen people robbed while on bicycles, mostly at night. They noted, however, that increased police presence lowered crime and fear. And education may provide the key: the report states that “the more familiar immigrants are with bicycling, the more likely they are to see it as a way to overcome barriers associated with transit.” Find the study at


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