Mobility survey

For 15 years, the mobility survey has been carried out on all EPFL students and staff members to better understand commuters’ habits. The data collected (3,011 participants in 2017) is also used to guarantee the proper capacity of the transport infrastructure and define the Mobility Plan’s priority measures.

How have mobility practices evolved over 15 years?

For the first time since 2003, the survey distinguished between mobility behaviors in winter and summer. Over 15 years, a considerable rise in soft mobility and public transport is observed at the expense of individualized motor transport.

In 2003, about a fifth of the students came to the campus by car or on a motorized two-wheeler (22%). In 2017, that share declined to 17% with, during the winter, a shift to public transport (68%, +9%) and soft mobility (27%, +9%). During the sunny season, the use of bikes has soared with over a quarter of students saying they cycle daily to campus (27%, +8%).

These same trends apply to employees with, in winter, a marked decrease in the use of the car (36%, -14%) mostly in favor of public transport (45%, +12%). In the sunny season, a growing proportion of staff members switch from public transport (38%, +7%) or cars (32%, -18%) to bikes (21%, +9%).

Qualitative assessment of infrastructures

While pedestrians are globally satisfied with the facilities on campus, some reservations were formulated by cyclists, particularly regarding the number of bike racks available and the quality of cycle paths on the campus and in the surrounding area.

Public transport users are overall satisfied with the quality of services, except for the frequency during off-peak periods, as well as the price of season tickets, considered too high.

Finally, drivers using the green spaces view the new parking policy favorably. The platforms and the booking procedure, as well as the fees based on actual consumption are particularly appreciated. The only reservation concerns the number of green spaces available: a regular monitoring of occupancy rates is in place in order to examine potential corrective measures.

Previous results

Evolution of modal share (%)

You will find below the results of the mobility survey. We voluntarily renounce to publish raw results

How it works

Since 2003, EPFL conducts an annual students and staff mobility survey, jointly with UNIL since 2006. Since 2016, it includes EPFL satellites.

This survey allows the following:

  • Get a better understanding of changes in mobility patterns among EPFL students and staff
  • Estimate the environmental charges generated by commuting
  • Assess the impact of measures introduced to promote soft and shared mobility
  • Evaluate and plan projects that will guarantee accessibility and attractiveness in the long run

The long-term goal is to re-balance the use between different modes of transport in a comprehensive strategy based on the principles of sustainable development.