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


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