Saturday, March 09, 2024

Not Everyone Commutes by Car

map showing the preferred mode of transport for travelling to work in cities around the world

In Canada and the United States 95% of journeys to and from work are made by car. Elsewhere in the world people often walk, cycle or use public transport in order to get to work.

Cities Moving is a research project by the Complexity Science Hub of the University of Vienna, which analysed the mode of transport most commonly used for commuting to work in 794 cities in 61 countries around the world. The study categorized commuting journeys using three different modes of transport: Active Mobility (eg walking and cycling), Bus or Public Transport, and Cars.

Even outside the US it would be wrong to suggest that the car isn't often the most used mode of transport for traveling to work. However as you can see from the graphs below comparing the modes of transport used in US cities compared to the rest of the world there is far more use of public transport (shown in blue) and active mobility (yellow) outside of America.

side-by-side graphs showing the difference the mode of transport used for commnuting journeys in the USA and the rest of the world
The study's published paper Large cities are less efficient for sustainable transport: The ABC of mobility concludes that outside of the US city size has a significant impact on the mode of transport chosen for work. The longer commuting distances often associated with larger cities make active mobility (walking and cycling) less popular, and the study found that in larger cities there is an increased use of public transport.

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