Getting to Work [Infographic]

Monday, February 03, 2014

Over 10 million Australians make their way to work every day, with almost 2 in 3 doing so by private car. McCrindle Research analyses the data to determine how Australian workers commute, comparing movement by workers across the nation’s capitals.

Getting to Work - McCrindle

The national traffic jam

There are 18.3 million Australians aged 17 and over, and 13.3 million registered passenger vehicles in Australia – 1 vehicle per 1.37 people of driving age. Less than 1 in 10 households get by without a car while most (54%) have at least two cars.

If Australia’s 13.3 million passenger vehicles were parked end to end (based on the average 4.12 metre length of an Australian car), the traffic jam would stretch 54,796 kilometres, which is more than 13 times the distance from Sydney to Perth (4,000 km).

Car nation

The percentage of workers who commute by private care has risen to 65.5%, up from 65.3% 5 years ago, and just 1 in 10 Australians rely on public transport.

Of all adult Australians in full time work or study, more than 7 in 10 (71%) primarily use a passenger vehicle. Almost 9 in 10 adults use a car to get places other than work (88%).

To Pluto and back…20 times!

The average Australian car drives 12,881 kilometres per year which means Australians, in their more than 13 million vehicles drive a combined 167 billion kilometres annually. With Pluto at the outer edge of our solar system located 4 billion kilometres from earth, this is the equivalent to driving there and back almost 20 times every year!

Less green than half a decade ago

Australians are “less green” in their work commute than 5 years ago with 655,939 more people driving to work (up by 0.8%) and the only three commuting methods to have declined in share are walking (down 0.3%), going as a car passenger (down by 0.6%) and motorcycle/scooter (down by 0.1%).

Public transport plus

1 in 5 train commuters also require a car for their trip (as driver or passenger) but just 1 in 10 bus commuters also require a car. In total about 1 in 5 public transport users require multiple forms of transport for their commute.

More than half of Australians (54%) state that the reason that they don’t use public transport is that there is no service or none at the right time for them. Just 1 in 10 say it is because they need their own vehicle for work and just 1 in 12 need it to carry work items or other people.

An ageing population and ageing workforce means more car trips

As women age, their use of passenger vehicles to get to work increased and their use of public transport decreased. This trend was the same for men until age 55, from which point they use public transport more and commute by car less.

Sydney trumps public transport use

Even though Sydney has 400,000 more people than Melbourne, Melbourne has 58,568 more people who drive to work than Sydney.

Sydney is the Australian capital with the lowest proportion of commuters driving to work (53.7%) and the highest proportion of commuters using public transport.

Sydney has 1 million more commuters now than in 2006 but 6,653 fewer car passenger commuters today. However, there are more cars used to transport Sydneysiders to work than there are cars used by workers in the states of Western Australia, South Australia, Northern Territory and Tasmania combined (more than 1.2 million).

Sydney has as many people who get to work by train (almost 190,000) as the rest of Australia’s other national cities combined. Sydney is also the city of ferries – with just as many ferry commuters (11,000) as motorbike commuters.

More Sydneysiders get to work by truck (21,445) than by bicycle (18,811)!

Female cyclists lead the way in Melbourne

Melbourne has more bicycle commuters than any other city in Australia (25,594). In fact 41% of all women who ride to work in Australia live in Melbourne.

Sydney, Brisbane and Perth are the only capitals where bicycles are not in the Top 5 means of getting to work.

Tasmanians best at giving their mates a lift, but also drive the most cars

Hobart residents are the most likely to drop someone to work. For every 10 people who drive themselves, 1 person gets a lift to work. On the contrast, in Melbourne, someone gets a lift to work for every 14 drivers.

Tasmanians most rely on their car to get to work, with 87% involving a car in their commute, either as a driver or passenger. This is followed by Queenslanders (85%) and Canberrians (83%).

Brisbane the city of motorcycles

Even though Brisbane has 2 million fewer people than Melbourne, it has 1,725 more motorcycle commuters than Melbourne.

Ferrying, motorbiking, cycling, and driving more common among men while women are more frequent on trams, buses, and as car passengers.

Across Australia, far more men catch ferries than women, but far more women catch trams than men.

Busses are much more likely to have women commuters than men in every city, while men are 8 times more likely to commute by motorbike.

Men are much more likely to drive, women much more likely to be passengers, and train travel is even from a gender perspective.

In Canberra there are 2 female bicycle commuters for every 5 males while in Brisbane there are just 2 for every 10 male bicycle commuters.

NT the state for walking, SA the state for driving

The Northern Territory is the Australia’s “walk to work” capital with 11% of all workers getting to work by foot. It is the only Australian state or territory where “walked only” exceeds getting a lift to work in a car, and such are the numbers that a larger proportion of Territorians walk to work than the proportion of public transport users in all other states and territories (less than 10%).

In Adelaide work commuters have increased by 8% since 2006 but fewer people walk to work today (2.5%) than in 2006 (2.7%). It is also Australia’s drive to work capital with almost 7 in 10 workers arriving by car.

Strange ways to get to work

On the 2011 Census question, “How did you get to work on Census Day?” 1,200,506 workers in Sydney made their way to work in a car, 187,760 Sydney-siders took the train, and 107,895 the bus.

Other Sydney-siders, however, chose more unconventional ways to travel. 80 Sydneysiders reported taking both a motorcycle and a bicycle to work, and 49 Sydney-siders stated they took first a train, then a bus, and then a motorbike to work. An astounding 27 workers took a bus, followed by a car, followed by a bicycle ride.

Download the analysis and the infographic.

Click here to download this file

Welcome to our blog...

We have a passion for research that tells a story, that can be presented visually, that brings about change and improves organisations. And we hope these resources help you know the times.

Our Social Media Sites

Facebook | McCrindle Research Social Media YouTube | McCrindle Research Social Media Twitter | McCrindle Research Social Media Flickr | McCrindle Research Social Media Pinterest | McCrindle Research Social Media Google Plus | McCrindle Research Social Media LinkedIn | McCrindle Research Social Media Mark McCrindle Slideshare

Last 150 Articles


sentiments social analysis thrive community engagement TDE ageing coffee social media vegemite entrepreneur news daily commute school families generation Z Financial Planning Association of Australia collaboration leadership workshop event Australian demographics engagement investor social research high density apartments ACF norwest quote hobart authenticity DESTEL TAS blaxland emerging technologies media conferences January 26th meetings video 10 years gold coast capital city kate middleton ACF 2016 sun tea social shifts family suburb identity interactive Kirsten Brewer apartment technology experience offenders baby boomers baby name trends keynote cold sydneycity happiness social commentary unemployment mythbusters national private wealth moreton bay internships aged care puzzle living future-proof market research urban living Education Future Forum year 12 baby boom presentation collaborative dare to dream spend divorce Gen Y politics emerging trends criminal schools staying in property generational trends renting entrepreneurial home Northern Beaches Christian School deloitte Australian Trends innovative annual income Royals house cancel plans events typical australian community Australian Communities Trends Wodonga not-for-profit relational wolloomooloo teacher world pyrmont names leader stats earn Charlotte children education future report JOMO Res Vis Northern beaches Event consumerism teach public speaking report New Zealand GPO investment The Daily Edition survey design Geoff Brailey winter blues selfie forecast home owner Western Australia sustainable customer Melbourne ashley fell DIY mccrindle tea jobs of the future demographic transformations IT Specialists royal family trends of 2017 goal cancelling plans winter population growth salary logan area social change demographer work-life middle class poker master communities Engineering Manager language acf15 Word Up crime online engage socialites trends of 2016 seasons Australian Census visualisation easy rider google for education 2015 wealth define housing growth analysis youth plans grandparents statistics urban state long weekend Gen X trends community event housing Australian Families Myth ipswich crows nest australian communities forum learn millionth cultural diversity Bathburst stay home careers hopes wage sydneysiders demographic Mark McCrindle Canberra water meals workplace culture Australian Bureau of Statistics resilience South Australia Financial Planning Week going out growing population emerging generations 24 million research pack group session personalities townhouses 1980 internship school satisfaction NEETs mining boom PSI neutral bay royal influence forecasting the australian dream cloudy days research services study ultimo gen z rising house prices educhat skills student marriage church post rationalism culture population map in depth interviews social trends SA Merry Christmas population menai youth unemployment vegetarian education sector mateship students financial future increasing densification newspaper eliane miles earning Christmas season holidays millenials list consumer weekly earnings retirement couple workplace Queensland: QLD buildings baby names NT future of education australia overcast renter of the future baby lalor park trend tuesday researcher conference speaker mythbusting hills shire geomapping women capital cities aged care holiday parenting online shopping easter demographic trends optimistic world youth day focus groups SMSF manly VIC housing trends research visualisation sunburnt country national wealth optus my business awards not for profit Australian schools life tips media activity omnibus monarchy tableau home ownership World Water Day aussie culture 1975 follow average aussie household princess charlotte ideas survey equip tattoos organisational culture public holiday local communities high density living ethnography ease of travel February 16 mentor hornsby city new york times eliane budget Netflix McCrindle Speakers resource research global financial crisis cost of living year 7 education future father's day forum tv house price rise social impact communication global generations training innovation learning teachers residents New Zeland young australians Christmas presents earnings Sydney keynote speaker Research Executive 1994 builders Channel Seven wages rule keeper the changing face of house price gen alpha demographics men darwin mortgage 1968 growth village cost dessert perth socialising publication friends census Australia Day business Aussie CBD daily telegraph education research mccrindle generation alpha work mates marketing faux-cilise 23 million infographic speakers Duchess of Cambridge sunny days non profit huffington post digital faux-ciliser Caregiver repayments 2014 NSW 2012 debate brands organisations brisbane Do It Yourself Sydney work shbc fears finance priorities curiosity responsive global government pharmacies futurist Financial Planning Association graphs royal economic google balance teaching food lifestyle Channel 7 Births social enquiry energy fresh proactive presentations Australian Home poor HSC future proofing parents national crime rates Real Estate Institute of Victoria baby name predictions Adelaide recap ashley mckenzie volunteers intern paying to work data visualisation pharmacy thought leadership networking business index sector wide study focus group Northern Beaches baby name cooking professional speaker marriages australian social research summer education Generation Y generation insights REIV Conference high density social researcher Deaths high school woolworths Christmas lunch Real Estate 2020 population milestone snapshot healthy future award Scouts greatness waverton 24,000,000 WA staff Australian communities sector wide charity sports FOMO storytelling program Wellington wealth and income distribution Aussies Population Clock property market royal baby households nfp participants ABS property price wealth and income clothing cartodb Love product employers university click qualitative research office space conference presentation twentyseventeen schools students media release mccrindle in the media etiquette shifts suburbs visual slideshare domestic jobs litter religion trends analyst toys small business personal growth Australia Day 2017 Territory case study financial dreams Social Trend bureau data in the media anzac mccrindle research group mobile relevant debt future proof rich celebration suburban living marrickville Crime Rates social life affordability career income entertainment trend motivate friendship English hello fresh cash australians staying home more 40 million 2017 change 2016 real Queensland narcissism dreaming states internet victoria urban taskforce Christchurch safe financial Valentine’s Day EFF land of the middle class weather facts Wagga Wagga supply and demand housing market bondi rain optus alpha conference christianity 2013 local ageing population housing affordability wedding society investing new office entrepreneurs of today panel communications divorce rate insight office opening shopper's pick rent moderators guide mother's day child care Australian Dream cancelling event gender society trends commute infographic wall results affordable school students Tuesday Trends transport tuesday mover and shaker owning a home The ABC of XYZ christmas millennials megatrends outsourcing ACT low density Tasmania educated tertiary education workforce wellbeing brand experience challenge social researchers medicine Kiwi System's Architect data analyst FPA financial independence Generation X Tuesday Trend sydney event future of work cars faux-cilising brand "know the times" REIV National Conference rental stress professional development leadership social lives employment social rise of local house prices keynote speaker dream social commentator teleworking learning styles australian communities trends report economy young people Australians wealth distribution prince george professional goals environmental scanning Northern Territory shopping unaffordable Hornsby Shire Council urban living index sydney speaker communicate sector potts point research data New South Wales university degree office learner Assistant Store Manager know the times environment generations workshop media commentary future