Swiss travelling further

Motor vehicles remain the preferred form of travel for the Swiss, ahead of public transport Ex-press

People in Switzerland travelled on average nearly 37 kilometres per day in 2010, up four per cent over the previous figures in 2005. Much of the increase is due to higher use of public transport, in particular train journeys.

This content was published on May 8, 2012 and agencies

Distances travelled have increased 1.5 kilometres to 36.7 kilometres since 2005, or 4.1 per cent. Figures had remained stable for the previous five-year period.

According to numbers released by the Federal Statistics Office on Tuesday, the Swiss made more use of public transport. Train travel increased by 27 per cent, whereas distances on foot, on bicycles or in cars remained mostly unchanged. However road traffic did increase because of higher demographics.

Travel distances vary according to age and population groups. Men tend for example to travel further – 11 kilometres more than women – and rely on a car more often.

The 18-24 age group gets out and about most, travelling on average nearly 50 kilometres per day, a figure that gradually drops to 13.5 for the over-80s. Higher income households also tend to travel further on a daily basis.

People living in urban centres travel the least - 31.9 kilometres per day - and also use a car less often, while those living in the country cover 41.7 kilometres and rely on a motor vehicle to get around.

Cars are still the preferred means of transport in Switzerland, accounting for 60 to 90 per cent of distances travelled.

Nearly four out of five Swiss households own at least one car. But young adults seem less interested in driving: if 71 per cent of the 18-24 age group had a licence in 1994, that figure dropped to 59 per cent in 2010.

Leisure activities are the main reason for travel, accounting for 40 per cent of the distances covered, down five points over the previous survey. Travelling to and from work increased slightly to 24 per cent.

For work-related trips, public transport accounts for 30 per cent of journeys, most of them on trains.

On average, the Swiss travel 20,500 kilometres per person and per year, including journeys abroad, which account for about a third of the total.

Big data

The Federal Statistics Office surveyed nearly 63,000 people for the latest transport data. The survey is carried out every five years.

People were asked about how many vehicles they owned, drivers’ licences, travel passes, daily travel, reasons for travel and journeys away from home. They were also asked what they thought of transport policy in Switzerland.

The data collected will serve as a statistical basis in the preparation and evaluation of transport policies, as well as an indicator of the evolution of transport.

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