Getting to Work: The Great Australian Commute

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The latest census data, released last month, highlights how much commuting will be transformed for Australians in the years ahead. 

Two in three Australians who work, put in at least 35 hours per week (62%) and half of all couple families are two-income earning households (47.4%). Australians also spend longer in the education system, with one in three adults having attained a tertiary qualification, and more than one in five (22%) have a university degree.

However, most of the commuting to work and university relies on driving. Of the nine million daily commuters in Australia, 7 in 10 workers commute by private car (68.4%), which is half a million more than in 2011. Just 1 in 8 (12%) get to work by public transport, and 1 in 20 (4.7%) work from home.

Given the increase in car usage over the last half decade, it is unsurprising to see therefore that most Australian households have at least two cars (54.3%) which is higher than in 2011 (52.6%).

However, nationally the combined public transport infrastructure investment currently under construction is the biggest in Australia’s history and will clearly provide a massive uplift in commuting options in our capital cities. In addition to this, the decade ahead will bring autonomous vehicles, driverless shuttle busses, and electric share bike and scooter options which will help us journey “the last mile” from public transport hubs to our final destination.

The coming decade of transformed transport will facilitate behaviour change and provide our cities with a faster, cheaper, and less car-reliant future.

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