Source: Worldwatch Institute, Vital Signs 2008.
World Bicycle Production, 1950-2007
On average, 95-100 million bicycles are produced each year, compared
to 50 million cars. About 40% of all bicycles were produced in China
in the early 1990s, and by 2000 this share climbed to 60%, making it
the world's leading producer and consumer. China has a fleet of about
540 million bicycles. Cycling thus accounts for a significant share
of urban travel, with figures such as 68% of non-pedestrian trips for
Shanghai in 1995. About 10 million bicycles were censed in Beijing alone
in 2001. The motorization of Chinese cities has contributed to a significant
drop in the modal share of cycling in recent years. From 1990 to 2002,
the share of cycling in Shanghai went from 70% of all trips to 17%.
In 2003, bicycles were banned from the major commercial streets, an indication
of the government's shift in policies.
Cycling is typically the mode of poorer segments of the population,
especially in developing countries. However, many
Western European countries, namely Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands
have experienced a significant growth in bicycle ridership in the recent
years. In Japan, 30% of all trips to a train station are done cycling.
The bicycle is increasingly perceived as a sustainable mode of transportation
and many cities around the world have programs promoting the use of
cycling for commuting and reserved bike lanes. Many cities are also offering
short term bike rental schemes
through stations sited at convenient locations.