Harnessing leisure cyclists to promote commuter cycling

Author(s) P. Onderwater, E. Da Silva,
Presented at the 40th Annual Southern African Transport Conference – 4 to 7 July 2022.

Cycling in South Africa is hardly a mode of transport for commuter purposes, but largely a leisure activity undertaken by specific groups, whilst these sub-cultures have garnered popularity amongst their communities, often this is where they end. In this paper the authors will explore if and how these sub-cultures can be harnessed to create further cycling use for commuter trips within South Africa. The promotion of cycling as a sustainable mode of transport within South Africa is often downplayed owing to a lack of infrastructure. However, studies within communities have shown that leisure cycling sub-cultures exist, even if no cycling infrastructure is available. Therefore, there is an innate attraction to cycling within these groups that could achieve a modal shift for other trip purposes. By understanding the drivers related to these sub-cultures it could be possible to formulate the desired conditions required to create South African cycling common use. In this paper, we have surveyed several leisure cyclists, to identify the attractive components for leisure cycling as well as the hinderances to commuting cycling use. We used the findings to develop a set of requirements that would assist in promoting more commuter-type cycling activity in the country as well as attracting more cyclists.