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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2009–10  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 04/06/2010   
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Contents >> Environment >> Household transport use

HOUSEHOLD TRANSPORT USE

People's reliance on motor vehicle transport for commuting and that of industry for the distribution of goods, comes at an environmental cost. The transport sector is one of the largest generators of greenhouse gas emissions in Australia, contributing 13.2% of Australia's net emissions (78.8 megatonnes (Mt) of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-e) in 2007. This was 27% above the 1990 level, with an annual growth of almost 1.5%. Road transport was the main source of transport emissions in 2007 (87% or 68.5 Mt), of which passenger vehicles contributed nearly two-thirds (41.9 Mt) (Department of Climate Change (DCC), 2009).

A motor vehicle refers to any motor cycle or motor vehicle up to 4.5 tonnes. These include cars, station wagons, 4WD passenger vehicles, utilities, panel vans or trucks, passenger vans or people movers, motorbikes or motor scooters. The most common types of motor vehicle that households have are a car/station wagon/4WD passenger vehicle (97% of households), followed by a utility/panel van/truck (18%), then a motorbike/motor scooter (6%).

In March 2009, 92% of Australian households kept at least one registered motor vehicle at home. The proportion of households with two or more registered motor vehicles increased from 51% in 2006 to 56% in 2009 (graph 2.1). These increases were reported in all states and territories, particularly in the Northern Territory where the proportion increased from 51% to 62%. Households with two or more registered motor vehicles in March 2009 were also common in Western Australia (60%), Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory (both 59%) and were least common in New South Wales (51%).

2.1 registered motor vehicles kept at home
Graph: 2.1 registered motor vehicles kept at home


Eight in ten people aged 18 years and over used a private motor vehicle to travel to work or full-time study in March 2009, 14% took public transport, 4% walked and 2% cycled (graph 2.2). The use of private motor vehicles has decreased slightly from 82% in 2000 to 80% in 2009 and public transport has increased from 12% in 2000 to 14% in 2009.

Most people who used a private motor vehicle to travel to their place of work or full-time study did so as a driver or rider (94%), the remaining 6% travelled as a passenger. Tasmania had the highest percentage of people who used a private motor vehicle to get to their place of work or full-time study (90%) up from 84% in 2006, while New South Wales had the least (75%). The age group of people most likely to use a private motor vehicle were the 45-54 years old (87%) and the least likely were the 18-24 years old (65%).

2.2 MAIN FORM OF TRANSPORT TO WORK OR FULL-TIME STUDY
Graph: 2.2 MAIN FORM OF TRANSPORT TO WORK OR FULL-TIME STUDY


In March 2009, 14% of people reported using public transport to get to their place of work or full-time study, up from 12% in 2000 (graph 2.3). Use of public transport was highest in Victoria and New South Wales (both 17%) and lowest in Tasmania (3%). In Tasmania, public transport use declined from 6% in 2006 to 3% in 2009. Of the people who usually took public transport to their place of work or full-time study, 59% considered public transport to be more convenient, comfortable or less stressful than any other forms of transport, the same as in 2006. Nearly one-third (30%) said they used public transport because of price/cost while 20% did so because they did not own a motor vehicle and 19% used public transport because of parking concerns.

2.3 PUBLIC TRANSPORT USE
Graph: 2.3 PUBLIC TRANSPORT USE


Lack of service continued to be one of the main reasons why people in Australia did not use public transport (graph 2.4). In March 2009, 27% of people reported that there was no service available at the right time or at a convenient time. In Tasmania and in the Australian Capital Territory, 38% of people gave this reason. More than one-quarter (26%) reported there was no service available in their area, while 22% reported that they preferred the convenience, comfort and privacy of a private motor vehicle.

2.4 REASONS DON'T USE PUBLIC TRANSPORT
Graph: 2.4 REASONS DON'T USE PUBLIC TRANSPORT


On a national basis, the proportion of people who usually walked (4%) or cycled (2%) to their place of work or full-time study has remained relatively unchanged since 2006 (graph 2.5). In March 2009, less people walked to work or full-time study in Tasmania (from 8% in 2006 to 4% in 2009) and the Northern Territory (from 7% in 2006 to 3% in 2009).
Less people were cycling to work or full-time study in the Northern Territory and in the Australian Capital Territory (both 5% in 2006 down to 3% in 2009).

2.5 WALK OR CYCLE TO WORK OR FULL-TIME STUDY


The most common reason reported by people for why they did not walk or cycle to their place of work or full-time study was that the distance was too far (71% for not walking, 45% for not cycling). This was reported by people in every age group.

The two most common reasons reported by people for walking or cycling were 'proximity of home to place of work or full-time study' (64%) and 'exercise and health' (50%). Only 7% of people said they walked or cycled because of environmental concerns.

Half of all Australian households had at least one working bicycle kept at their home. Of these households, two-thirds (66%) had two or more bicycles in working order. Bicycle ownership was highest in the Australian Capital Territory (66% of households) and lowest in New South Wales (46%).


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