Solid Evidence That Cycling Is the Best Way to Commute

Photo: Image Source RF/Chad Springer/Getty Images

Cyclists have one more thing to be smug about: According to a new study out of McGill University, the bicycle is the best way to get to work, at least on two key metrics.

For a paper published in Transportation Research, a team lead by Charis Loong surveyed over 5,000 students, staff, and faculty at the Montreal institution to gather info on how their commute affected their lives. Cycling was not only the most “energizing” way to get to class or the office, compared to walking, driving, or taking transit, but also the one that had the fewest negative effects on punctuality. Transit, unsurprisingly, was the thing most likely to make people late.

Because of the well-being bonuses associated with cycling, the authors reason that “encouraging the habit of commuting by bicycle may also lead to improved performance at work or school.”

As Andrew Small notes at CityLab, the analysis didn’t control for demographics, which certainly skewed things, since walkers tended to be students (many of whom, presumably, live on campus) while drivers tended to be older — staffers and the like. Also, these results are specific to a charming French Canadian urban university, so one can’t be certain they’d generalize to other, less lumberjack-chic environs.

One last question for the people who bike to work: Do you bring a towel?

Solid Evidence That Cycling Is the Best Way to Commute