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Geneva's commuters embrace multimodal transport

How do you get around in the Geneva area? Researchers at EPFL’s Urban Sociology Laboratory (LASUR) realised a big survey of a 2100 representative sample of the working-age population of Greater Geneva – with a population of one million people. The findings point to declining attitudes towards driving over time. In 1994, just 12% of respondents associated the car with negative adjectives such as “polluting” and “expensive”; in 2018, that number rose to 33%. Conversely, the image of public transportation is improving, albeit slowly: 50% of those surveyed in 2018 described it in positive terms (compared with 39% in 1994), while only 38% used negative descriptors (46% in 1994). Long journey times seem to be the main barrier to greater enthusiasm for public transportation. The survey also showed that the population embraced multimodal transport with open arms. The findings also highlighted the extent to which commuters – most of whom now have smartphones and other internet-enabled devices – are keen to make the most of their journey time. Other important considerations include convenience, efficiency and CO2 emissions. The latest survey was the first of its kind to include commuters living in France – and it underscored how a shortage of other options leaves them with little choice but to take the car.