AskDefine | Define commuter

Dictionary Definition



1 a passenger train that is ridden primarily by commuters [syn: commuter train]
2 someone who travels regularly from home in a suburb to work in a city

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. A person who regularly travels from one place to another, typically to work.
  2. A piece of transportation equipment used for the transportation of such persons.
    He takes the commuter to headquarters at least once a week.


a person who regularly travels to work


  1. Typically of an aircraft, train etc., designed for use by commuters.

Extensive Definition

Commuting is the process of travelling between one's place of residence and regular place of work. Students who are enrolled at a college or university but who live off-campus are also typically referred to as commuters; institutions that have few dormitories are called commuter schools in the United States.
Prior to the 19th century most workers lived less than an hour's walking distance from their workplace, whereas modern commuting may refer to people travelling, usually daily, to workplaces beyond their own towns, cities and villages.
Commuting is largely a phenomenon of industrialised societies, where access to modern modes of travel such as automobile, trains, buses and bicycles has enabled people to live far from their workplace, sometimes by choice, sometimes when forced to do so by the high cost of housing in city centres.
The advent of modern commuting has had a large impact on life. It has allowed cities to expand to sizes which were previously not practical, and it has led to the proliferation of suburbs.
Many large cities or conurbations are surrounded by commuter belts, also known as metropolitan areas, where people who work in the city live. These regions are often called commuter towns, dormitory towns, or bedroom communities.
As urban sprawl pushes farther and farther away from central business districts, new businesses can appear in outlying cities, leading to the existence of the reverse commuter who lives in a core city but works in the suburbs, and to a type of secondary commuter who lives in a more distant exurb and works in the outlying city or industrial suburb.
Because most commuters are travelling at the same time of day, commuting gives rise to the morning and evening "rush hours", with congestion on roads and public transport systems not designed or maintained well enough to cope with today's peak demands.
Cars with a single occupant use fuel and roads less efficiently per person than shared cars or public transport. Hence, commuting by car is a major contributing factor to traffic congestion and air pollution. In response, some governments and employers have introduced employee travel reduction programs that encourage such alternatives as carpooling and telecommuting.
The word 'commuter' was originally used for travellers paying a reduced or 'commuted' fare for an advance-purchase rail season ticket valid for a fixed number of days, weeks, or months. Such tickets usually allow the traveller to repeat the same journey as often as they like during the period of validity: usually, the longer the period, the cheaper the cost per day.
commuter in Danish: Pendling
commuter in German: Berufsverkehr
commuter in Spanish: Pendularismo
commuter in French: Migration pendulaire
commuter in Indonesian: Komuter
commuter in Italian: Pendolarismo
commuter in Hebrew: יוממות
commuter in Dutch: Forens
commuter in Japanese: 通勤
commuter in Russian: Маятниковая миграция
commuter in Simple English: Commuting
commuter in Finnish: Pendelöinti
commuter in Swedish: Pendling
commuter in Thai: การไปกลับเป็นประจำ
commuter in Chinese: 通勤

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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