car use is declining, but not everywhere

In the metropolis of Lyon, INSEE figures indicate an overall decline in car use for business travel between 2008 and 2018. It is especially pronounced in the center of Lyon. At a time when there is talk of excluding private polluting vehicles from the ZFE, it can be seen that car use, however, has advanced in certain municipalities in the agglomeration, especially in the east.

+21 points. This is the maximum change in car use between 2008 and 2018 in a municipality in the Lyon metropolitan area. It is in Saint-Romain-au-Mont-d’Or where it passes. During this period, the use of the car for professional mobility (commuting) decreased by about two-thirds of the municipalities in metropolitan France. Saint-Romain-au-Mont-d’Or is, therefore, almost an exception.

In contrast, in Lyon 3rd, the proportion of workers who used the car to go to work fell by about 15 points during the same period. Like all the districts of Lyon and much of the municipalities of the metropolis. In the sharpest declines in car use, we also find other districts of Lyon:

  • 7th district : – 11.6 points
  • 8th district : -11.4 points
  • 6th district : -10.7 points

The car also retreats west of Lyon

Some of the strongest increases in car use are seen in west Lyon. Sant Romain i Couzon-au-Mont-d’Or (+4.3 points) or even La-Tour-de-Salvagny (+4.6 points). But overall, in this rich sector with no solid public transport lines (metro or tram), car use is declining. In particular in the municipalities closest to Lyon:

  • -11 points a Saint-Cyr-au-Mont-d’Or
  • -5 points a Champagne-au-Mont-d’Or
  • -4.8 points a Ecully
  • -4 points a Dardilly

However, the car is still the preferred mode in this sector of the metropolis of Lyon. With an average of between 65 and 75% of working people going mainly to work in 2018 with this means of transport. Frédérique Bienvenüe, co-president of the “La Ville à vélo” association, told us that, logically, as a general rule, “the presence of public transport reduces the share of cars and bicycles”.

In the absence of strong TCL lines in the sector, how can this decline in the car in certain municipalities in western Lyon between 2008 and 2018 be explained? Perhaps we can see in this an effect of the implementation during the period of the tram-train in the west of Lyon. In addition, in these municipalities, INSEE figures show an increase in the proportion of workers going to work in public transport.

A car ride down to Lyon

Figures on trips to the metropolis of Lyon

The figures presented here come from the INSEE census. The “most recent” dataset corresponds to the year 2018. These figures refer to Professional mobility. It is, therefore, the means of transport of active people (employed or looking for work) for their home-work trips.

We have also isolated in this very substantial data set the only assets residing in the metropolis of Lyon. It is about presenting the modes of transport favored by the only active inhabitants of a district or municipality of the metropolis of Lyon.

The limitations of these statistics

In its professional mobility statistics, INSEE only presentsjust a means of transportation. Thus, in the case of using various modes of transport to get to work, INSEE only retains the heavier means of transport. For example, in the case of travel by bicycle or on foot after the use of public transport, the only means of transport preserved will be public transport. Thus, this statistical choice can minimize the modal share of the so-called lighter or smoother transport.

In addition, INSEE has only isolated two-wheeled bicycles since 2018. Thus, it is impossible to measure their evolution over the period studied here. Thus, motorized bicycles and two wheels are mixed indiscriminately. Bicycle usage figures for 2018 are available, but we’ve presented them on a map.

Last point: these statistics are based on census surveys. They are therefore based on declarative data listed people.

> Consult the complete methodology

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