Most Aussies rely on cars to get to work: National update

Belinda Tasker
(Australian Associated Press)


Most Australians travel less than 20km to get to work but just 14 per cent do it on public transport.

On average Aussies travel 16km to work, with miners and high income earners covering the longest distances, the Australian Bureau of Statistics says.

Based on data collected from the 2016 census, 9.2 million people commute to work, with three quarters travelling less than 20km.

Perhaps unsurprisingly for those who get stuck in traffic on the way, 79 per cent make the journey by private vehicle.

Just 14 per cent opt for a public bus, train, ferry, tram or taxi and 5.2 per cent cycle or walk.

The remainder work from home or don’t go to work.

Public transport was most popular among Sydney commuters (27 per cent), according to the numbers, while about 80 per cent of workers in Brisbane, Adelaide, the ACT and Perth drove.

Of those who drove, 85 per cent travelled solo.

Workers who travelled by train had the longest average commute at 22.5km, while those who rode a bike or walked travelled just over six kilometres.

“The choice of transport is often related to a person’s proximity to their place of work,” the ABS said on Tuesday.

“For example, in Melbourne, many people who walk to work or ride a bicycle tend to live in the centralised areas of the city while many people who were a driver of a car or take a train to work tend to live in the outer areas.

“This pattern is generally seen across most capital cities in Australia.”

Broken down by occupation, miners travelled the greatest distances (40.3km) and those in Tasmania the longest average distance (60.3km).

Those employed in the accommodation/food services industries and retail had the shortest trips at 11.4km and 12.9km, respectively.

A worker’s weekly earnings can also impact on commuting time.

Overall, people with higher weekly incomes of $2000-$2999 commuted an average of 20km, while those on up to $149 travelled just under 10km.

Men also tended to travel about three kilometres further to work than women.

COMMUTING TO WORK (all distances are averages)

* Longest commute – Queensland (16.4km)

* Shortest commute – ACT (11.7km)

* Workers in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane 15.4km

* Workers living outside Perth had the longest at 20km

* Workers who used trains had the longest commute – 22.5km

* Workers who used trucks/cars 17-18km

* People who walked 6.1km

* People who rode a bike 7.6km

* Mining industry workers commuted the longest distance – 40.3km

* Accommodation/food service workers had the shortest – 11.4km

* Workers on $2000-$2900/wk commuted 20km

* Workers on $1750-$1999/wk commuted 19km

* Workers on $1-$149 commuted 9.6km

* Male workers’ commute – 17.7km

* Female workers’ commute – 14.2km

(Source: ABS 2016 census)


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