rush hour

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The rush is a drive end , of the trips with transport between home and workplace , and includes reversed, with return travel must take place within a period of 24 hours.


In addition to rush hour traffic, the purposes of the trip also include training traffic ( school trips , school trips ), shopping traffic , leisure traffic , business and business travel and holiday traffic . Trips to the company training facility and to the vocational school are part of commuter traffic, but not the work-related trips within working hours from the workplace (business trips).

Legal issues

In § 43 No. 1 PBefG the legal term commuter traffic is legally defined as the “regular transport of working people between home and work” within the framework of the special forms of regular transport . The law assumes that the finally listed special forms exclude other passengers from the transport. At the same time, it is made clear that in the context of occasional traffic, passenger transport by motor vehicle is not a regular service ( Section 46 PBefG).

economic aspects

The term content of commuter traffic is often expanded in colloquial language to include goods transport, for example by freight forwarders , which, however, is part of goods traffic . Both have in common that commuter and freight traffic come together at rush hour . On the other hand is working path of the commuter a typical part of the rush hour. All modes of transport can be used for commuter traffic, whereby the traffic planning department tries to evaluate the modal split .

Rush hour traffic is an important part of private traffic and has the second highest share of passenger traffic (measured in passenger kilometers ) after vacation and leisure traffic :

Passenger traffic expenditure by purpose of travel
(in billions of passenger kilometers )
2003 2017
Vacation and leisure traffic 43.6% 38.9%
Professional and training traffic 20.4% 20.5%
Shopping traffic 17.2% 15.8%
Business and official travel 12.5% 20.2%
Escort trips 5.2% 4.6%

For a large number of journeys there is no parallelism of outward and return journeys, for example in the case of "triangular journeys" between the home to the workplace, from there to shopping and only then back to the home. This also applies to vacation travel if an employee first drives from his home to the workplace in order to spend the last working day there before his vacation and immediately starts the vacation trip after working hours . If an employee deviates from his commute to do private shopping and then returns to the commute, this is shopping traffic and, in the case of statutory accident insurance, a deviation that is not insured in the event of a commuting accident .

Traffic planning

The different purposes of the trip are the object of knowledge in traffic planning because, depending on the purpose of the trip, the willingness to accept longer queues ( traffic jams ) or diversions , for example , is different and must be taken into account by the traffic planning. During rush hour traffic, traffic planning should take into account that, for example, motorway or road construction sites should be avoided as much as possible during rush hour.

The functional division of modern urban development since the Charter of Athens (CIAM) into educational , work and residential districts has meant that many people have to drive to and from their homes the same way when they start and finish school. During these times, there is a very high volume of traffic in urban areas in both public and individual local transport . Traffic with road vehicles often comes to a standstill, particularly at traffic junctions and other bottlenecks, as well as in the event of accidents or other disruptions .

These phenomena are much more pronounced internationally. In particular, where local public transport is not adequately developed, motor vehicle traffic can sometimes collapse for hours. In some metropolises such as Lagos , the main traffic axes developed into trading centers during rush hour, where go-slow traders offer their goods to drivers. Appropriate approaches, such as window washers at traffic lights, are now also available in European cities. But public transport is also often overloaded in rush hour traffic, and on the surface it is also often hindered by heavy individual traffic when buses or trams do not have their own lane .

Web links

Wiktionary: commuter traffic  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ German Institute for Economic Research (eds.), Claus Köhler / Henryk Bolik, Regional Structure of Passenger Transport in the Federal Republic of Germany in 1975 , 1981, p. 13
  2. ^ German Institute for Economic Research (eds.), Claus Köhler / Henryk Bolik, Regional Structure of Passenger Transport in the Federal Republic of Germany in 1975 , 1981, p. 13
  3. Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Information (ed.), Traffic figures 2019/2020 , p. 235
  4. German Institute for Economic Research (eds.), Heinz Franke / Ulrich Voigt, Integrated long-term forecast for transport demand in freight and passenger transport in the FRG up to 1990 , 1977, p. 19
  5. Elizabeth Cox / Erica Anderssen, Survive Lagos , 1984, p. 24