Rush hour

From Academic Kids

For other uses, see Rush hour (disambiguation).
Rush hour in a city
Rush hour in a city

A rush hour is a part of the day with busy traffic and hence traffic congestion on the roads and crowded public transport; normally the two periods in a day when people are travelling to or from work or school.

The name is a misnomer: it is usually more than an hour. Typically, rush hour lasts from 6:00 to 10:00 AM and 3:00 to 7:00 PM, local time. In regions where school children finish in the mid-afternoon, a new pre-rush hour has started with parents collecting their offspring by car on the school run. This is typically around 3:30 PM. With people travelling places during their lunch time by car too, it is arguable that 12:00 noon till 2:00 PM is another, less frantic, rush hour.

The frequency of public transport is usually higher in the rush hour, and in the case of trains, longer ones are often employed. However, the increase in capacity is often less than the number of passengers, due to the limits on available vehicles, staff and, in the case of rail transport, track capacity including platform length. As a result vehicles are more crowded and not everybody has a seat. This may have the effect of making public transport less desirable, therefore pushing more people into cars and making the traffic worse.

Travel demand management, such as road pricing or a congestion charge, is designed to persuade people to alter their travel habits so as to minimise congestion.

Similarly public transport fares may be higher; this is usually presented as an off-peak discount for single fares, though season tickets or multi-ride tickets, commonly used in ruch hours, are also sold at a discount (hence the word commuter).


For example, for trains in the Netherlands there is an Off-Peak Discount Pass for 49/year, giving a discount of 40%, valid after 0900 on weekdays, and all day at weekends and in July and August. In the case of a group of up to four people, all get the discount even if only one has a pass.

See also

de:Hauptverkehrszeit es:Hora punta ja:ラッシュ時 nl:Spits (verkeer)


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