Commuting


Commuters for work purposes

In 2016, some nine out of ten employed persons in Switzerland were commuters, i.e. people who leave their dwelling to get to their place of work. This is equal to roughly 3.9 million people. Of this number, 71% worked outside the commune in which they live - considerably more than in 1990 (59%). This means that much larger commuter flows are travelling through the Swiss Mittelland and alpine valleys than just a few decades previously. A comparison of cantons shows that in relation to their size, the cantons of Basel-Stadt and Zug attract the most commuters from other cantons.

In 2016, just over half of commuters (52%) used the car as main means of transport for their commute. 30% used public transport to go to work, 15% travelled by foot or by bike. On average, commuters covered 14.8 km during their trip to work (one way), taking them 30 minutes.

Commuters¹ for work purposes, 2016
Number of commuters 
3.9 million
    of which commuters between different communes
71%
Average commute (one way)
14.8 km
    Change from 2010 +7%
Average commute time (one way) 30.3 min.
Means of transport used2
Passenger car
52%
Railway
17%
...
Public road transport 14%
Motorised two-wheelers 2%
Bicycle (incl. e-bike) 7%
On foot 9%
1) Employed persons of 15 years and over with a permanent place of work outside the building in which they live
2) Share of commuters who use a specific mode of transport as the main mode of transport for their commute
Source: FSO – Commuting (PEND)

Commuters for study and training purposes

In addition to commuters travelling to work, in Switzerland in 2016 there were more than 0.8 million commuters aged 15 or over travelling to their place of study or training (pupils, apprentices and students). On average, this group of travellers covered a distance of 22 km to reach their place of study or training and preferred to use public transport to reach their destination. In 2016, rail and public road transport combined accounted for 67% of the main means of transport.

Commuters for study and training purposes (15 years and older), 2016
Number of commuters 
0.8 million
Average commute (one way) 21.7 km
Average commute time (one way) 40 min.
Means of transport used1
Passenger car (incl. scool bus) 16%
Railway 41%
...
Public road transport 26%
Motorised two-wheelers 2%
Bicycle (incl. e-bike) 7%
On foot 8%
1) Share of commuters who use a specific mode of transport as the main mode of transport to get to their place of study/training Source: FSO – Commuting (PEND)

Further information

Tables

Commuter Matrix 2014
The Commuter Matrix 2014 is now available (commuter flows between the communes). You can order it by email from the following address: verkehr@bfs.admin.ch

Contact

Federal Statistical Office Section Mobility
Espace de l'Europe 10
CH-2010 Neuchâtel
Switzerland
Tel.
+41 58 463 64 68

Monday - Friday:
09.00 - 12.00 / 14.00 - 16.30

Contact

Remark

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https://www.bfs.admin.ch/content/bfs/en/home/statistics/mobility-transport/passenger-transport/commuting.html