OttoCYCLE Study

The City of Winnipeg studied cycling patterns in the city to help its staff plan cycling lanes and other infrastructure. Winnipeg has the potential to be a great place for bicycle commuting. The downtown is a true city centre with neighbourhoods on all sides.

More than 700 participants used a specially designed GPS for two weeks. The devices recorded the details of more than 9,300 cycling trips, giving city staff a vivid picture of origins and destinations, heavily used routes and gaps in Winnipeg's cycling network. Participants also filled out surveys and trip diaries. Almost 87 per cent said they would cycle more if there were better infrastructure.

Since the study, funding for more than 35 cycling infrastructure projects has been approved.


Environmental Economic Social
  • A shift from motorized vehicles to bicycles would reduce fossil fuel use and air pollutants
  • Every 1% shift from vehicles to bicycles would reduce GHGs by  about 24 kilotonnes per year
  • More bikes and fewer cars would increase the lifespan of roadways, reducing construction and maintenance costs

  • An increase in people choosing to cycle rather than drive would lead to a healthier population
  • Fewer cars on the road would mean less traffic congestion in the city


  • Technical problems with the GPS systems, especially around tall buildings downtown.
  • Securing funding for the study, since using GPS technology to track cycling patterns was an untested concept.

Lessons learned

  • Consider including non-cyclists among the survey participants, to learn why they do not cycle. What would it take them to get on their bikes?
  • Consider recruiting a statistically significant sample, rather than just those who come forward because they are interested.

Partners and collaborators

Project Contact

Kevin Nixon
Active Transportation Coordinator
City of Winnipeg, MB
T. 204-986-4966

2019 Federation of Canadian Municipalities