Fewer Australians using public transport after COVID-19

Media Release

According to data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today, one in seven Australians (14 per cent) reported using public transport in March 2021, compared with nearly one in four (23 per cent) who reported regular use before COVID-19 restrictions began in March 2020.

ABS Head of Household Surveys, Lisa Scanlon, said the latest Household Impacts of COVID-19 Survey conducted from 12 – 21 March 2021, showed that public transport use had increased compared with 9 per cent reporting regular use six months ago in September 2020, but normal patterns of usage had not returned for everyone.

“Of the people who reported regularly using public transport before COVID-19 restrictions began, around one in six (18 per cent) reported they had not used public transport since March 2020.

“After the COVID-19 pandemic, three in five people (61 per cent) expect their public transport use will remain the same, while 13 per cent expect their use to increase and 7 per cent expect it will decrease,” Ms Scanlon said.

The March 2021 survey also asked Australians about unpaid volunteer work for an organisation or group and unpaid help for others outside their household.

“One in five Australians aged 18 years and over (21 per cent) did unpaid voluntary work (volunteering) for an organisation or group in the last 12 months, compared with one in four (26 per cent) prior to 1 March 2020,” Ms Scanlon said.

“Two in five Australians (43 per cent) provided unpaid help to someone living outside their household in the last four weeks.

“Of those who provided unpaid help to someone living outside their household, women were more likely to provide help to a family member (72 percent compared with 54 per cent for men). Men were more likely to provide unpaid help to a non-family member (68 per cent compared with 57 per cent for women).”

The ABS would like to thank the Australian households that contributed to these survey results.

Media notes

  • When reporting ABS data you must attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or the ABS) as the source.
  • For media requests and interviews, contact the ABS Media Team via media@abs.gov.au (8.30am-5pm Mon-Fri).
  • Subscribe to our media release notification service to get notified of ABS media releases or publications upon their release.
  • Information on ABS products being produced to measure the impact of COVID-19 on Australia can be found on the ABS website.

Back to top of the page