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Italy's commuting population - statistics & facts

About 30 million people in Italy commute for work or study reasons. The northern regions register the highest shares of commuting population. In Trentino-South Tyrol, Emilia-Romagna, Veneto, and Lombardy, over 55 percent of people used to commute for travel or study. However, commuting time varies substantially by residence, transportation means, density of population, quality of services, and other aspects. In Italy, about half of commuters use to travel outside their municipality for work or study. The largest share of commuters travelling outside their municipality was recorded in Lombardy, while most of the people in Lazio used to move within their municipality.

Cars are still the most common transportation mean

Among the largest cities in Italy, Rome has the highest number of people travelling daily for work or study purposes. In a recent study, the municipality of Rome counted 1.5 million commuters. Of these residents, one million people commuted for work reasons, while over 500 thousand were students. Overall in Italy, employees commute more than students. Nevertheless, students use public and shared transportation much more frequently. However, car is generally the most common transportation means used by commuters in Italy. Bus, metro, and train, instead, resulted to be the second most popular way to commute. The reasons why many people still prefer to take the car can be different. For instance, to lead people to use more frequently public transportation instead of private vehicles, municipalities, in particular larger ones, should offer commuters attractive solutions, fast services, on time, and fairly affordable.

Pandemic impact on commuting habits

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic might have had an impact on the commuting habits in many countries worldwide. In Italy, about half of Italian commuters declared to have changed commuting frequency due to the pandemic. When it comes to the choice of the transportation means, the necessity to avoid crowded places and close spaces push many commuters to choose the car over public transportation. This came in a time in which public transportation was already going unpopular. Indeed, also about half of the people who do not travel for work or study reasons did not use public transportation before the pandemic and will not start using it in the next months. A pleasant alternative to cars and public transportation in many European countries is cycling. The results of a survey conducted in Italy show that almost half of Italians never use a bike. In fact, further results reveal that Italians perceive road conditions and the weather as the main barriers to cycling.


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