Impact of commute time on everyday life
Daily commute is a very big and important part of most people’s lives, both working and school age. In Switzerland, around nine out of ten people commute to work, which was nearly 4.0 million in 2017. On average, in 2017 commuters travelled to work for 31 minutes one way. Just over half of them (52%) preferred to travel by car, 31% used public transport, and 15% liked to walk or bike. In addition to the working part of the population, in 2017 there were more than 0.8 million people aged 15 or over commuting to a place of study. They travelled 40 minutes one way on average and their most popular way to commute was via public transport.
Source: Federal Statistics Office
In addition to commuting being an unavoidable part of many peoples lives, it plays a bigger role in the long run, specifically for the well being and mental health of the commuter. Studies throughout the years have concluded that commuting takes its toll. In fact, the stress this everyday activity puts on the individual and their family can outweigh the benefits. People with longer commute times are suffering from more stress and psychosomatic disorders than those with shorter commute times.
Every additional minute of travel time can be significant to their mental and physical well-being as well as family relationships. Those with long commute times complain not having enough time for family, friends and hobbies, are unable to pursue their interests outside of work.
Taking all that into consideration, the exact travel time is crucial when looking for a new housing solution. When commuting is such an important part of everyday life that impacts so many people, it’s hard to ignore the need for tools that allow easy and convenient access to travel time information on housing websites for the right choice of property.
Travel time data on house hunting websites
When searching for a place to live, having the proper tool can make a huge difference. Looking for property for rent or sale, the user will inevitably have to look at the property location on a map to figure out and evaluate how long it will take to commute. However, there is usually more than one point of interest the user wants to take into consideration. We usually want our gym to be close by, perhaps our parents home, as well as the spouse’s work place, children’s school, etc. Knowing all that, house hunting can become a tedious task without the right solution.
Luckily, there are companies like ImmoScout24 that have integrated the TravelTime API and have made looking for property an easier endeavour. TravelTime is a tool that allows the user to search by their choice of travel time and mode of transport. A shape is displayed on a map, to showcase the reachable area by the selected time and transport mode.
ImmoScout24 is one of the biggest marketplaces for real estate in Switzerland, and they have made their users happier by adding travel time data.
How it works
Let’s take a look at how ImmoScout24 and TravelTime API can make house hunting easier:
- Opening the ImmoScout24 app will take you directly to the search. After choosing the type of property, location or additional criteria such as price, area or the number of rooms, etc., we are presented with the search results.
- At the bottom of every ad, there is a bar to easily view travel time for default or custom points of interest (POIs) with different modes of transport.
- If the user has not chosen their custom POI’s yet, a default will be visible, for example, the Zurich main station.
- Next to the default POI, we can see the travel times in minutes for each mode of transport – from the property to the Zurich main station by public transport, car and bicycle.
- The user can also add their own POIs by adding the address of their desired destination, naming it (Office, Gym, etc.) and choosing a mode of transport for that destination to be viewed without opening the ad. Two POIs can be selected.
- Now that the points of interest are added and saved, every time the user searches for a property, the travel time for the desired destinations will be visible at the bottom of every listing.
- By opening a property, travel times for all modes of transport can be viewed for the default or custom POIs.
Another integrated feature of the TravelTime API in the ImmoScout24 app is the map view:
- For an entered POI, it displays per default an isochrone map overlay which shows the reachable area from the selected POI within 30 minutes, and all possible properties inside the area for an easier choice and more favorable view.
- Already set POIs are marked on the map. By selecting the label with the POI, the user can enter the desired maximum commute time to that destination, as well as select modes of transport. The reachable area within desired time and mode is then adjusted on the map.
- If two POIs are selected, the isochrones might overlap and show the most suitable and convenient properties reachable from both destinations within the selected time.
- This feature, however, does not filter the properties – all properties are displayed. The map overlays are meant to serve as a visual aid.
The difference travel time data can make
The Scout24 team is working hard to provide the best possible experience for the user in the house hunting field with the help of TravelTime API. The convenience lies in the fact that the users do not have to leave the app and figure out the commute travel time themselves by using other means and workarounds. The travel times to desired destinations from the property are already visible in the search listings.
When there is already so much stress considering commute time, tools like TravelTime can make a change in the overall user experience. Not only does including travel time help users save time both searching for the property and after moving in, it also provides better and easier user experience. Get in touch below if you're interested in implementing your own TravelTime search tool.