Cover Image

Cyclability in Lahore, Pakistan: Looking into Potential for Greener Urban Traveling

S. Atif Bilal Aslam, Houshmand E. Masoumi, Muhammad Asim, Izza Anwer


Measuring perceived or objective cyclability or bikeability has drawn less attention compared to walkability, particularly in developing countries like those in South Asia and the Middle East. This paper presents the results of a survey about cyclability in Lahore, Pakistan, focusing on human perceptions rather than the built environment. The overall sample included a total of 379 respondents from three socio-economic classes: those from lower socio-economic backgrounds accessing traditional/older bazaars, respondents from the middle socio-economic class accessing uptown bazaars, and respondents of higher socio-economic status accessing pedestrian shopping malls. The exploratory data collection was conducted in spring 2018 in Lahore by means of a short standard questionnaire with 19 questions, resulting in 17 categorical/dummy variables, two open-ended variables, and two continuous variables targeting socio-economics, bike trip characteristics, biking barriers, and preferred travel specifications. The results showed that the middle socio-economic group was more inclined, flexible, and willing to bike compared to the lower and higher socio-economic-groups. The lower socio-economic group used the bicycle more frequently than the middle socio-economic group. Around half of the middle socio-economic group commutes via bike compared to the lower socio-economic group. There was little to no representation of 55-64 and 65+ age groups in the data. The descriptive findings of this survey indicate some preliminary signs of differences of decisions and perceptions about biking compared to high-income and European countries. These differences need to be tested in future statistical analyses.


Urban transportation planning, sustainable mobility, active transport, cyclability, Pakistan.

Full Text:



Adeel, M. (2018). Travel Behavior variations across urban and rural areas of Pakistan. TeMA. Journal of Land Use, Mobility and Environment, Special Issue 1.2018, 83-94. doi:

Aldred, R., Woodcock, J., & Goodman, A. (2016). Does More Cycling Mean More Diversity in Cycling? Transport Reviews, 36(1), 28–44. doi:

Anand, A., Tiwari, G., & Ravi, R. (2006). The bicycle in the lives of the urban poor: Case study: Delhi. Delhi, IN: Lecture.

Arora, A. (2013). Non-Motorized Transport in Peri-urban Areas of Delhi, India. Retrieved from

Berloco, N., & Colonna, P. (2012). Testing and Improving Urban Bicycle Performance. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 53, 72–83. doi:

Blanc, B., & Figliozzi, M. (2016). Modeling the Impacts of Facility Type, Trip Characteristics, and Trip Stressors on Cyclists’ Comfort Levels Utilizing Crowdsourced Data. Transportation Research Record, 2587, 100–108. doi:

Chatterjee, K., Sherwin, H., & Jain, J. (2013). Triggers for changes in cycling: the role of life events and modifications to the external environment. Journal of Transport Geography, 30, 183–193. doi:

Christiansen, H. (2012). Documentation of the Danish National Travel Survey. Lyngby. Retrieved from:

Christiansen, H., & Haunstrup, B. (2012). The Danish National Travel Survey-declaration of variables. Lyngby. Retrieved from

Christiansen, H., & Skougaard, B. Z. (2015). Documentation of the Danish National Travel Survey (2015 version).

Clifton, K., Currans, K. M., Muhs, C. D., Ritter, C., Morrissey, S., & Roughton, C. (2012). Consumer behavior and travel choices: A focus on cyclists and pedestrians. Retrieved from

El-Assi, W., Salah Mahmoud, M., & Nurul Habib, K. (2017). Effects of built environment and weather on bike sharing demand: a station level analysis of commercial bike sharing in Toronto. Transportation, 44(3), 589–613. doi:

Ferwati, M. S., Shafaghat, A., & Keyvanfar, A. (2017). Path cyclability assessment index model using design tree making method: A case of Doha-Qatar. Malaysian Journal of Civil Engineering, 29. doi:

Gallup Pakistan. (2016). Short roundup on transport infrastructure in Pakistan: Year 2000-2015. Based on Pakistan Economic Survey 2015-16 (Big data analysis series No. Paper 2). Retrieved from

Gössling, S. (2013). Urban transport transitions: Copenhagen, City of Cyclists. Journal of Transport Geography, 33, 196–206. doi:

Government of Pakistan (1998). Pakistan Census Report 1998. Islamabad.

Government of Pakistan. (2017). Provisional summary results of 6th population and housing census-2017. Islamabad.

Guthrie, N., Davies, D. G., & Gardner, G. (2001). Cyclist's assessment of road and traffic conditions: The development of a cyclability index.TRL Report 490.

Hickman, R., & Banister, D. (2014). Transport, climate change and the city. London, UK: Routledge.

Ibrahim, M., & Riaz, S. (2018). Lahore growth - Past and future. Retrieved from

Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) (2011). The project for Lahore urban transport master plan in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan: Government of Punjab Project. Final Report.

Ji, Y., Fan, Y., Ermagun, A., Cao, X., Wang, W., & Das, K. (2017). Public bicycle as a feeder mode to rail transit in China: The role of gender, age, income, trip purpose, and bicycle theft experience. International Journal of Sustainable Transportation, 11(4), 308–317. doi:

Jones, T., & Novo de Azevedo, L. (2013). Economic, social and cultural transformation and the role of the bicycle in Brazil. Journal of Transport Geography, 30, 208–219. doi:

Kaplan, S., Manca, F., Nielsen, T. A. S., & Prato, C. G. (2015). Intentions to use bike-sharing for holiday cycling: An application of the Theory of Planned Behavior. Tourism Management, 47, 34–46. doi:

Majumdar, B. B., & Mitra, S. (2015). Identification of factors influencing bicycling in small sized cities: A case study of Kharagpur, India. Case Studies on Transport Policy, 3(3), 331–346. doi:

Masoumi, H. E. (2013). Modeling Travel Behavior Impacts of Micro-Scale Land Use and Socio-Economic Factor. TeMA. Journal of Land Use, Mobility and Environment, 6(2), 235-250. doi:

Muñoz, B., Monzon, A., & López, E. (2016). Transition to a cyclable city: Latent variables affecting bicycle commuting. Transportation Research Part a: Policy and Practice, 84, 4–17. doi:

Naeem, M. A., Shamsuddin, S., & Sulaiman, A. B. (2016). Policies and issues concerning urban sprawl and compact development paradigm adoption in Greater Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Retrieved from

Newman, P., & Kenworthy, J. (1999). Sustainability and cities: overcoming automobile dependence: Island press.

Nielsen, T. A. S., Olafsson, A. S., Carstensen, T. A., & Skov-Petersen, H. (2013). Environmental correlates of cycling: Evaluating urban form and location effects based on Danish micro-data. Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment, 22, 40–44. doi:

Nielsen, T. A. S., & Skov-Petersen, H. (2018). Bikeability – Urban structures supporting cycling. Effects of local, urban and regional scale urban form factors on cycling from home and workplace locations in Denmark. Journal of Transport Geography, 69, 36–44. doi:

Parkin, J. (2009). The humps and the bumps: objective measurement using an instrumented bicycle. Paper presented at the Research and Innovation Conference. Retrieved from


Pinto, F. & Sufneyestani, M. (2018). Key Characteristics of an Age-Friendly Neighbourhood. Tema. Journal of Land Use, Mobility and Environment, Special Issue Elderly Mobility, 117-132. doi:

Pirlone, F. & Candia, S. (2015). Cycle Sustainability. TeMA. Journal of Land Use, Mobility and Environment, 8(1), 83-101. doi:

Rebecchi, A., Boati, L., Oppio, A., Buffoli, M., & Capolongo, S. (2016). Measuring the expected increase in cycling in the city of Milan and evaluating the positive effects on the population’s health status: a community-based urban planning experience. Annali di Igiene Medicina Preventiva e di Comunità, 28(6), 381–391. doi:

Replogle, M. (1992). Bicycles and cycle-rickshaws in Asian cities: issues and strategies. Transportation Research Record, 76–84. Retrieved from

Sagaris, L. (2015). Lessons from 40 years of planning for cycle-inclusion: Reflections from Santiago, Chile. Natural Resources Forum, 39(1), 64–81. doi:

Smethurst, P. (2015). Mobility: The Practical and Cultural Impact of Bicycling in the West. In P. Smethurst (Ed.), The Bicycle—Towards a Global History (pp. 67–104). London, UK: Palgrave Macmillan. doi:

Soltanzadeh, H., & Masoumi, H. E. (2014). The Determinants of Transportation Mode Choice in the Middle Eastern Cities: the Kerman Case, Iran. TeMA. Journal of Land Use, Mobility and Environment, 7(2), 199-222. doi:

Srivastavaa, A. K., Mishrab, S., & Chakravartyc, D. (2017). Analysis of Bicycle Usage in India: An Environmental Perspective. International Journal of Innovations & Advancements in Computer Science, 6(8), 27-37. Retrieved from

Strömberg, H., & Karlsson, I. M. (2016). Enhancing utilitarian cycling: a case study. Transportation Research Procedia, 14, 2352–2361. doi:

Tandogan, O., & Ergun, N. (2013). Assessment of the Child-Friendliness of the Küçük Ayasofya Neighborhood in Istanbul, Turkey. Children, Youth and Environments, 23(3), 164. doi:

Vandenbulcke, G., Dujardin, C., Thomas, I., Geus, B. de, … & Panis, L. I. (2011). Cycle commuting in Belgium: spatial determinants and ‘re-cycling’strategies. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 45(2), 118–137. doi:

Wray, J. H. (2015). Pedal power: The quiet rise of the bicycle in American public life. New York, USA: Routledge.

Xiao-jiang, L. (2011). Thoughts on Urban Transportation Policy [J]. Urban Transport of China, 1, 7–11. Retrieved from

Zhang, L., Zhang, J., Duan, Z.-y., & Bryde, D. (2015). Sustainable bike-sharing systems: characteristics and commonalities across cases in urban China. Journal of Cleaner Production, 97, 124–133. doi:


Article Metrics

Metrics Loading ...

Metrics powered by PLOS ALM


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
This site uses cookies to help deliver services. By using this site, you agree to the use of cookies.
More info.

Direttore responsabile: Rocco Papa | print ISSN 1970-9889 | on line ISSN 1970-9870 | © 2008 | Registrazione: Cancelleria del Tribunale di Napoli, n° 6, 29/01/2008 | Rivista realizzata con Open Journal System e pubblicata dal Centro di Ateneo per le Biblioteche dell'Università di Napoli Federico II.