Paris pedals ahead as cyclists outnumber motorists

Paris pedals ahead as cyclists outnumber motorists

By Ashmeeta Subra  May 8th, 2024

A recent French transport survey discovered that cycling is becoming more popular than driving in the capital, while walking and public transport remain popular options.


In partnership with 14 public and private entities, including local government and rail companies, academics from L’Institut Paris Région (IPR) conducted a recent survey tracking the travel behaviours of 3,337 Parisians aged 16 to 80 using GPS devices for seven consecutive days.  

The survey revealed a surge in daily commuter cyclists in central Paris, rather than Spandex-clad professionals commonly associated with cycling events like the Tour de France. It also confirmed that walking and public transport remain the most popular ways to travel in the city. Notably, there is a significant change from five years ago as cyclists now outnumber motorists for journeys from the suburbs to the city centre.  

“Ten years ago, who could have predicted that bicycles would take over cars,” said David Belliard, deputy mayor of Paris on Public Space, Transport and Mobility.   

The shift towards cycling as a preferred mode of transport is attributed to Mayor Anne Hidalgo's anti-motorist policies such as reducing parking spaces, limiting SUV access, and closing major roads to cars. In addition, significant investments in alternative transport modes have been made over the last few years, including a €250M ($406.5M) plan to enhance cycling infrastructure by 2026, aligning with the city’s vision to become a “100 per cent cycling city”.   

There is still work to do, however, with suburban areas of Paris still heavily reliant on car travel due to limited public transportation options. The survey found that the further away from the city centre, the higher the percentage of travellers continued to rely on cars over other less emissions-intensive forms of travel. 

To improve public transportation outside the city centre, 200 kilometres of metro lines are being constructed as part of the Grand Paris Express project. This expansion will add 68 new stations, create four new metro lines, and extend two existing lines. A 76-kilometre rail ring will also be built to link the outer suburbs, offering connectivity previously unavailable. 

Planet Ark does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the original information and encourages readers to check the references before using this information for their own purposes.


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Ashmeeta Subra

With background in international relations and marketing communications, Ashmeeta is excited to use her skills to encourage positive environmental actions through Planet Ark. She believes that by taking small actions, we can help make a big difference and be good stewards of our planet. Outside of work, she loves spending time in nature and enjoying downtime at the beach.

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