• New research from Trainline Partner Solutions reveals the number of “supercommuters” travelling by rail in the UK has almost doubled since the pandemic (+47%), a trend largely enabled by hybrid working.
  • The majority (80%) tie their commutes into specific business purposes, with two thirds (67%) considering their commute closer in definition to business travel.
  • More than half of regular UK commuters (51%) say they would be open to supercommuting in the future, showing this boom will continue

London, 1st July 2024 – New research from Trainline Partner Solutions reveals the number of UK “supercommuters” using rail to travel longer distances to work has doubled since Covid. Almost half (47%) of current supercommuters surveyed made the lifestyle change either during or post-pandemic, and over four in five (84%) of these new supercommuters say hybrid working has enabled their switch in commuting habits.

The survey of 1,004 rail supercommuters, defined as journeys to work of at least 90 minutes, found that supercommuters are still regulars at their desks – spending an average of three days a week in the office. Lifestyle considerations are key to these employees deciding to undertake a longer commute, such as achieving a greater work-life balance (34%), a reduced cost of living (29%), and more opportunities for their family (29%).

The top destination for most super commuters (27%) is London,* but the phenomenon can be seen across the country with other popular cities including Manchester (6%), Nottingham (5%), and Birmingham (5%).

The rise of supercommuting blurs the once clearer lines between business travel and commuting – two thirds of those surveyed see their commute as closer in definition to business travel. The data also shows that over three quarters (80%) tie their office trips into specific business purposes. While the majority (78%) of these rail supercommuters typically make their journeys in one day, over half (57%) said their company pays for accommodation when it’s required. For many (59%), their company will cover their travel.

Trainline also surveyed a group of 1,001 regular UK commuters to assess the potential growth in the number of rail supercommuters. Just over half (51%) said they would be open to supercommuting in the future, with achieving a better work-life balance the number one motivation (63%). The vast majority of this number (84%) would be willing to spend at least 75 minutes on the train.

Alice Coverlizza, VP of Trainline Partner Solutions, added: “With rail driving a growth in supercommuting, this is redefining what the traditional commute looks like, particularly in relation to business travel. The lines between these two categories are becoming increasingly blurred. The commute is a key part of ever-evolving working patterns in the UK, and these findings highlight the need for both workplaces and the broader travel ecosystem to keep apace of these trends.”