by: rudi o'reilly meehan

imagine you were an alien that arrived to ireland via ufo on a monday morning.

you might gaze in wonder at the many humans leaving one box and going to a different box - often by means of a third box.

you learn that the first two boxes are called "home" and "work" and that the journey between each is called "commuting".

you decide to examine these commuters more closely.

car driver
car passenger
other, incl. van
on foot

you decide to start watching people leaving their homes and split the different forms of transport into 3 groups: private, public, or human-powered.

you are able to find data about commuting from the 2022 census in ireland. each large dot here represents 1,000 commuters.

you first notice that over 200,000 people in the country are leaving home before 6:30 - nearly double that of 2011.

in an opinion piece for the irish times in june 2023, jennifer o'connell argued that:

"for many early morning commuters, i suspect it is about more freedom and more choice rather than less."

o'connell's point was that since one third of the workforce work from home at least one day a week, longer, earlier journeys can be more palatable.

the average commute time increased to 29.1 minutes in 2022.

commutes by train, dart or luas took the longest, with an average of 52 minutes.

journeys to work on foot were the shortest, with an average journey time of 17 minutes.

more people drive to work than take every other mode of transport combined.

this has a significant impact on ireland's congestion, infrastructure and emissions.

there is a more of a spread to when commuters leave the office.

23% of commuters leave the office before 4pm, while 48% left between 4-6pm.

15% of commuters leave after 6pm.

counties meath, kildare and wicklow have the longest commute times and the most long commutes of 1 hour or more.

counties meath, kildare and wicklow have the longest commute times and the most long commutes of 1 hour or more.

most public transport users are aged between 25 and 44 years, with 56% of bus commuters and 62% of train commuters coming from this age bracket.

what you might find strangest of all are the apparent contradictions when it comes to working and commuting in ireland.

ireland recorded the fastest growth in remote working in the eu ... but also saw its average commute time increase by 10% since 2016.

44% of irish workers would change jobs , even if it means taking a pay cut, if their remote working preferences are not facilitated... but at the same time, 38% of irish employers will require their employees to spend more time in the office in 2024.

Many workers are now facing unavoidable long commutes to office as remote working fades, and sky-high housing prices keeping them priced out of dublin. in the words of joanne mangan , communications manager with grow remote:

"the potential for remote work to stop the commute, give people more time to spend at home rather than in their cars, and reduce carbon emissions at the same time is huge and should be a major priority as we head into the new year.

anyway, you best get going - it's a long journey back to your home planet and you'll want to beat the traffic.

by: rudi o'reilly meehan
data & design