the infographic that breaks some prejudices about cars and bikes

Posted on January 19, 2022

The car remains the preferred mode of transport for the French according to the latest INSEE survey. This reveals interesting lessons, going against certain prejudices which would like, for example, that the car is the prerogative of the most modest or that the bicycle is reserved for sores. As prices at the pump continue to soar, the opportunity is perfect to encourage a profound change in our mobility.

The car, still number 1. According to the latest INSEE survey on French travel, published every ten years, the car is still the preferred mode of travel in France. It represents 63% of daily journeys, far ahead of walking (24%), public transport (9%) and cycling (3%). While its use has fallen slightly in ten years, the number of kilometers traveled by car has increased by 9% between 2008 and 2019. However, in a logic of ecological transition, we will have to do without this mode of transport, very polluting, including when it comes to an electric car.

Unsurprisingly, it is those who live in rural areas, where the supply of public transport is limited and travel by bike or on foot is not always safe, who use the car the most. Thus, in the countryside, four trips out of five are made by car compared to one out of three in the Paris conurbation. But contrary to popular belief that the automobile is the prerogative of the poorest households – reinforced by the Yellow Vests crisis – the INSEE study shows that it is in fact the richest who mainly travel by car. A rate that can reach 70% among the wealthiest populations against 39% among the most modest.

41% of daily journeys are less than five kilometers

Another received idea, on the bike, which would be reserved for sores and urbanites. The INSEE study shows that this mode of transport is mainly practiced by executives and higher intellectual professions (5% of their trips). But when you factor in income, it’s hard to make a connection. Thus, it is the 1st and 5th deciles (the 1st decile corresponds to the poorest 10%) who travel the most by bicycle. In addition, the share of cycling does not change much according to the size of the city, and it is in particular in Paris that it is lowest.

However, INSEE data stops in 2019, just before the Covid-19 pandemic which saw the rise of coronapists, these temporary cycle paths created to decongest public transport. In the capital, 50 kilometers of additional cycle paths have thus been made permanent and 7% of trips will now be made by bicycle, compared to 2% before. When we know that 41% of daily journeys are less than five kilometers, the bicycle therefore appears to be the ideal solution to replace the car.

In addition to the environmental argument, the economic argument weighs more and more in favor of a change towards cleaner mobility. Prices at the pump keep going up. Diesel, the most used fuel in France, for the first time crossed the threshold of 1.60 euros per liter last week, exceeding the price peak which had taken place in October 2018, just before the start of the Vests movement. yellow. This is undoubtedly the right time to support the most affected households towards less emitting vehicles.

Concepcion Alvarez @conce1

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