The strong sensitivity of the French for everything related to fuel taxes is better understood by reading the latest work of INSEE. Of some 23.2 million employees, 70% use their cars mainly to go to work, reports the Institute in a study published on Wednesday. Public transport is far behind. Only 16% use them just as regularly.

The workers from Lyon and Paris are an exception. In the capital, nearly 70% of employees use buses, metro, RER, tram and other commuter trains. The only metropolis with more than 400,000 inhabitants to be in a similar situation, the capital of Gaul is furrowed by employees, 41% take public transport, while 35% are driving. Everywhere else, the car dominates.

Bike in the big cities

It is however less ubiquitous in the centers of big cities where the use of the bicycle is developed. In Grenoble, Strasbourg and Bordeaux, less than 45% of employees take their cars. Lille is also in this case, but this time it is the public transport that is the second most used mode of transport to go to work.

"As soon as we move away from the central cities, the share of cars increases and that of public transport decreases", points INSEE. In the very large cities, the share of the car is 50% in the town center, but it passes to 76% in the rest of the urban pole and 86% in their big crown. In extreme cases, in the most weakly urbanized areas, more than eight out of ten employees use the car, as in Cantal, Lozère, Vendée and Gers.

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The workers are driving the most

One in two employees who drive takes it to travel more than 15 kilometers. This distance between home and work however goes up to exceed 26 kilometers for a quarter of them. "In 2015, 14% of employees, or 3.3 million people" regularly made this type of journey over 25 kilometers, says the study. This ratio does not reach 5% in Paris and its suburbs, but may exceed 50% on the periphery of large and medium-sized cities.

Executives and employees use the car less. Barely two thirds of them take their car against more than three quarters of the workers. Employees will work more on foot, the location of their activity being closer (more than four out of ten employees work in their municipality of residence). This is much less the case of executives who, they, use more public transport. "Their jobs are more concentrated in the major hubs, better served by means of transportation"explains INSEE.

Joel Cossardeaux

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