Wed, Jul 02, 2008 - Page 2 News List

Number of cyclists continues steep increase: report


The number of people who ride a bicycle on a regular basis is expected to increase to 700,000 this year amid a bicycle craze emphasizing health and energy conservation, a report released recently by the Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD) said.

The number would mark a rise of 112 percent compared with 2006, when the number of cyclists totaled 330,000, the council said, referring to the results of market research conducted by Gallup Taiwan.

As shown in the results of various surveys released this year, many people have changed their commuting patterns to cope with higher fuel prices, with some beginning to ride a bicycle to and from work.

Government efforts to build a nationwide network of bicycle paths since 2002 have also helped promote cycling as a means of transportation and recreation, the council said.

Before that, most bicycle paths were built haphazardly by local governments, without systematic integration, it said.

By the end of last year, the government had completed the construction of 40 special bicycle paths and integrated bicycle paths in various areas around the country, spanning a total length of 1,180km, the council said.

As 80 percent of cyclists in Taiwan ride a bicycle for leisure, the government will pay attention to regional tourism resources and continue to work toward developing a national bicycle path network, the council said.

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