Definition of commuter noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//kəˈmjuːtə(r)//
; NAmE NAmE//kəˈmjuːtər//
jump to other results
a person who travels into a city to work each day, usually from quite far away The five o’clock train is always packed with commuters. (British English) the commuter belt (= the area around a city where people live and from which they travel to work in the city) CulturecommutingCommuting is the practice of travelling a long distance to a town or city to work each day, and then travelling home again in the evening. The word commuting comes from commutation ticket, a US rail ticket for repeated journeys, called a season ticket in Britain. Regular travellers are called commuters.The US has many commuters. A few, mostly on the East Coast, commute by train or subway, but most depend on the car. Some leave home very early to avoid the traffic jams, and sleep in their cars until their office opens. Many people accept a long trip to work so that they can live in quiet bedroom communities away from the city, but another reason is ‘white flight’. In the 1960s most cities began to desegregate their schools, so that there were no longer separate schools for white and black children. Many white families did not want to send their children to desegregated schools, so they moved to the suburbs, which had their own schools, and where, for various reasons, few black people lived.Millions of people in Britain commute by car or train. Some spend two or three hours a day travelling, so that they and their families can live in suburbia or in the countryside. Cities are surrounded by commuter belts. Part of the commuter belt around London is called the stockbroker belt because it contains houses where rich business people live. Some places are known as dormitory towns, because people sleep there but take little part in local activities.Most commuters travel to and from work at the same time, causing the morning and evening rush hours, when buses and trains are crowded and there are traffic jams on the roads. Commuters on trains rarely talk to each other and spend their journey reading, sleeping or using their computers or mobile/​cell phones. Increasing numbers of people now work at home some days of the week, linked to their offices by computer, a practice called telecommuting.Cities in both Britain and the US are trying to reduce the number of cars coming into town each day. Some companies encourage car pooling (called car sharing in Britain), an arrangement for people who live and work near each other to travel together. Some US cities have a public service that helps such people to contact each other, and traffic lanes are reserved for car-pool vehicles. But cars and fuel are cheap in the US, and many people prefer to drive alone because it gives them more freedom. Many cities have park-and-ride schemes, car parks on the edge of the city from which buses take drivers into the centre. In Britain in 2002 a system of congestion charging was introduced in Durham to make people who drive into the city centre pay a congestion charge (pay money to drive into the city centre). A similar, much more extensive, system was introduced in London in 2003. Extra examplesA group of regular commuters were playing cards. About a million commuters use the rail network every day. Commuter services are under a greater strain then ever before. Commuters are angry at the increase in rail fares. Commuters from Essex to London face a nightmare journey today. I could hear the commuter traffic in the distance. She lives in a small commuter town, 25 miles from San Francisco. The accident involved a crowded commuter train. The developments are in the London commuter belt. The train was packed with commuters. The village has become the preserve of rich commuters and second home owners. There has been an increase in the numbers of daily commuters into London. There have been improvements to commuter lines. We need to encourage commuters not to drive into the city.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: commuter