As the summer holidays wrap up, many will be getting back into their regular trip to work.
The number of people commuting in Switzerland reached a record 3.9 million in 2016, a whopping 34% more than in 1990.
In addition, the average Swiss commuting distance increased. in 2016, it was 14.8 km one way, 1.9 km further than in 2000, a 15% rise. Time spent travelling to work went up even more. In 2016, the average commute took 30.3 minutes, 7.4 minutes longer than it did in 2000, a rise of 32%.
Average commuting speed fell from 34 km/h to 29 km/h between 2000 and 2016.
Not all commutes are equal. 9% spend more than 2 hours on their daily round trip to work. The number in this category has risen more than four-fold since 1990. At the other end of the spectrum, the number getting to work and back in 30 minutes or less is down by 15%.
As well as consuming more time this extra commuting is putting strain on Swiss infrastructure.
And while population growth is a big driver, it isn’t the only one. Since 1990, commuters numbers have grown 34%, far more than Switzerland’s overall population (+22%).
Commuting also takes a toll on the environment. The majority (52%) of Swiss commutes are made in cars. In 2016, public transport accounted for less than a third (31%) of work journeys.
Student commuters were significantly more environmentally friendly. Only 16% went by car, while 67% took public transport and another 15% walked or rode a bike.
The four Swiss cantons of Geneva, Basel-City, Zug and Zurich stand out as drawing in high levels of commuters, while large numbers of people living in Fribourg, Basel-Landschaft, Thurgau, Schwyz and Appenzell Innerrhoden head to other cantons for work. See map here.
Some hoped the internet might reduce commuting by enabling more people to work from home. If it did, its effect was overwhelmed by other factors. The percentage of workers commuting rose from 88% in 2010 to 90% in 2016.
Commuting is more popular than ever in Switzerland.
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