Description and meaning of the component

Expenditures for travelling between home and workplace or educational institution arise if people want to get to their workplace or the place where they are educated. They are part of private expenditures that are not directly welfare enhancing and thus should not be counted positively in a welfare measure. For this reason they are deducted here.

This cost approach paradigmatically represents a “loss of lifetime” for the commuters. There are, in addition to that, related health effects that especially long distance travel to work – often associated with traffic jams – may cause.


Description of Indicator trends

The development of travel cost does first of all not show a clear trend, and due to the problematic data situation especially the shifts cannot be interpreted. However, noticeable is the peak in 2011. The considerable increase compared to 2010 can be traced back to an increasing share of commuters within total traffic: with 21,84 percent the share reaches its maximum since 2001. Furthermore, compared to 2010, transport expenditures were also increasing as well.

Clearly visible is the fact that so far no long-term decline of cost for travelling between home and workplace or educational institution was taking place. This is also the case if one looks solely at work-related traffic. Both the kilometers travelled and the total travel expenditures remained relatively constant for the last 20 years. A reduction of cost by a reduction of work-related traffic should be aimed at – also by reducing traffic jams and the stress related with them –, for reasons of individual welfare and ecological sustainability. New mobility concepts, the ecological planning for cities and areas and changes of the organization of work offer large possibilities for improvements.