Australia’s national census has included a question about work travel methods since 1971.
What can be gained from such a question? Knowing how Australians 15 and above get to their most common destination, work, can help environmental researchers gauge emissions, aid civic planners as they perfect roads, sidewalks and transit, and offer insight into the habits of workers who live near or far from their office, as well as those who work from home.
The census question offers multiple choices to the question “How did the person get to work on Tuesday, 9 August 2011?”
- motorbike or motor scooter
- tram (or light rail)
- walked only
- car (as driver)
- worked at home
- car (as passenger)
While the survey question allows respondents to mark all that apply, for the sake of simplicity our map is constructed using only data pertaining to those who typically use one type of transportation on their commutes. We’ve also narrowed our map’s focus to seven cities (Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, Hobart, Darwin and Brisbane) and the ACT, so that you can take a closer look at some urban areas where many different types of transport are more readily available. You’ll be able to immediately spot differences between cities, where cars are driven the least and which have more cyclists, for example.
The interactive maps allow you to zoom in or out, to select a specific mode of transit to examine, and provides a color-coded key as well as roll-over notes that will give you an idea of the percentages of people using that method of travel. Play with the maps of these cities to learn about the transit habits of people in your area. Or, if you’re planning on relocating, see if one of these cities accommodates walking and biking to work or if cars rule the roads. There are many ways these interactive maps offer information: we hope they give you some interesting insights!