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urban planning

Cycling in the 2016 Census: ACT

3% of Canberrans cycled to work on the census day.

Active travel is about, amongst other things, getting to work. There is a question on commuting in the census. Only one question does not say much but the regularity of the census provides a trend.

National Museum and Black Mountain looking across West Basin, Lake Burley Griffin, ACT, Australia,Photo by Rainer Busacker CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
National Museum and Black Mountain looking across West Basin, Lake Burley Griffin, Photo by Rainer Busacker CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

“For example, when it came to commuting, given population increases from 2011 to 2016, the Census recorded increases in numbers for each of the four most common ways (modes) that people in the ACT travelled to work,” Ms Kindermann said.“However, while car use remained by far the most common, as was the case nationally, it had the lowest percentage increase of 5 per cent. The Census recorded that the largest increase was for the bicycle (15 per cent) followed by walking (14 per cent) and then the bus (11 per cent). This pattern is generally in contrast to the national picture.”

2016 Census: Australian Capital Territory; MEDIA RELEASE, 23 October 2017, 141/2017

The people that are employed have to get to work.

Census20162011
Employed persons205,628195,891
2016 Census: Australian Capital Territory; MEDIA RELEASE, 23 October 2017, 141/2017

This us how they do it. The question considers “single method of travel only”. In other words, pick one only. Active travel encourages us to combine different modes of transport in one trip: walking, cycling, bus, car. Park and Ride is an example. Ergo, this is an inferior survey question.

Method of Travel to Work

20162011
Car (as driver or passenger)143,093135,733
Top 3 other methods
1. Bus12,22611,054
2. Walked only9,3058,165
3. Bicycle5,3664,673
2016 Census: Australian Capital Territory; MEDIA RELEASE, 23 October 2017, 141/2017

Cycling made up only 3% of the commuters on census day in 2016. By international standards, this is low. By Australian standards, it is quite good. Other Australian cities, though, do better with public transport.

Cycling made up only 3% of the commuters on census day in 2016.
Parkes Way at night, Canberra roads. Photo by Daniel Morton on Unsplash
Parkes Way at night, Canberra roads. Photo by Daniel Morton on Unsplash

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