Main content


Science fiction has given us some wonderful ideas of how we might travel to work in the future, but present day reality leaves a lot to be desired. Matthew Sweet on 'Commuterville'

It is 175 years since the word "commuter" was used for the first time. (The word does not in fact describe a traveller, it describes a transaction: regular travellers on the railroad into Manhattan were given the opportunity to "commute" their individual tickets into a season pass. Ever since, commuters have been both travellers and revenue stream.)
Today our great cities inhale and exhale millions of commuters, who start their journey in the darkness of winter mornings in the suburbs, resurface blearily in the heart of the city and return to long tucked-in children in darkness.
It wasn't meant to be like this. Matthew Sweet looks at our imagined world of fantasy journeys and asks if driverless cars, monorails, or high speed transport systems might deliver them in the future.

Producer Mark Rickards.

Available now

57 minutes

Last on

Fri 31 May 2019 21:00


  • Sat 19 May 2018 20:00
  • Fri 31 May 2019 21:00



Discover more seriously interesting radio documentaries.