Some commuters shun instant trek

Last updated 07:39 29/01/2012

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Kiwis regularly moan about the grind of the daily commute to work, but one in five of us say we wouldn't swap the treks for instant transport to our jobs via a Star Trek-style teleporter.

A new report has been prepared for the New Zealand Transport Agency, looking at how much time workers and tertiary students in Auckland and Wellington spend travelling each day and their attitudes towards commuting.

It reveals the typical worker spends 20 minutes commuting as a driver, 15 minutes as a walker or 30 minutes via public transport – and most would ideally halve their commute if they could.

The world average commuting time is 40 minutes, one-way.

But one out of five people surveyed say they enjoy their commute and wouldn't give it up even if the technology to teleport existed.

Researchers asked 500 workers and students in the two cities: "If you could use a Star Trek-like teleporter to instantly travel from home to work/study (and back again), what would you want to do?"

Nearly four-fifths (79 per cent) stated "I'd teleport", while 21 per cent said "I'd want to spend some time travelling between home and work/study."

Those who didn't want Scotty to beam them up said they enjoyed their commute because it gave them some down-time and a mental break between work and home.

Of the 350-plus people who would choose to teleport, less than 10 per cent said they would use the time they saved to do more work or study.

Most said they would use their bonus minutes for sleeping, getting ready for work, eating breakfast, doing household chores, or reading.

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