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


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