Introduction: 2017 ACT Household Travel Survey

The 2017 ACT Household Travel Survey shows that the daily commute is typically one of the longest journeys we make in our daily lives. Schools, shops, doctors and sport are usually in the local area, and then the distance travel is almost always shorter. The 2017 ACT Household Travel Survey gives some insight into where Canberrans work, live and play and how this impacts on their daily lives.

What is it?

The 2017 ACT Household Travel Survey is an interesting read. The data was collected between October and November 2017. Surveys like this are not done very often in the ACT. “The last large scale data collection of this type was undertaken in 1997.” Currently, the ABS Census is more regular.

“Transport Canberra and City Service Directorate and the Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council engaged Ipsos Social Research Institute in 2017 to undertake a survey that collected information about how, where and when members of a selected household travels over a single day. A total of 1,785 households and 4,611 people in both the ACT and Queanbeyan contributed to the survey and completed a travel diary for a single specified day.”

ACT and Queanbeyan-Palerang Household Travel Survey (ACTQP HTS), ACT Government, 2018
Photo by Fiona Art on Pexels.com
Photo by Fiona Art on Pexels.com

Overall findings

The data from the survey is available on the ACT Government website as an interactive tool. The data cannot be downloaded. The data is shown graphically or in tables for the whole of Canberra or any one district. The districts are Belconnen, Gungahlin, North Canberra, Queanbeyan, South Canberra, Tuggeranong, Weston Creek / Molonglo Valley, and Woden Valley.

In the first example below, we see that only 25.9% of the trips are work related. Education is only responsible for 10.5% of the trips.

2017 ACT Household Travel Survey slide 2
Purpose of trips from ALL origins to ALL destinations, 2017 ACT Household Travel Survey (ACT Government, 2018)

Modeshare refers to the method of travel. For this survey the options where walking, cycling, bus, vehicle driver, vehicle passenger, or other. 54.7% of all trips whereas a vehicle driver. After that, the next most common was vehicle passenger.

The comparison chart below shows the data for Belconnen compared with the great Canberra area. Belconnen seems to be quite typical for Canberra.

2017 ACT Household Travel Survey slide 1
Comparing local area modeshare with ACT, Belconnen residents, 2017 ACT Household Travel Survey (ACT Government, 2018)

The data can be shown in tables. This table shows the reasons people are travelling to each district.

2017 ACT Household Travel Survey slide 9
Destination from Belconnen, Belconnen residents, 2017 ACT Household Travel Survey (ACT Government, 2018)

Photo by Anni Roenkae on Pexels.com
Photo by Anni Roenkae on Pexels.com

Belconnen example

By selecting the “region” Belconnen, the graph shows where people travel to and at what time of day. For people living in Belconnen, North Canberra and Gungahlin are the most common destinations.

2017 ACT Household Travel Survey slide 8
Destination of ALL trips starting in Belconnen, Belconnen residents, 2017 ACT Household Travel Survey (ACT Government, 2018)

The next graph is similar but shows where the people COME from that travel to Belconnen, as opposed to those travelling from Belconnen ELSEWHERE (above). Perhaps not surprisingly, those travelling TO Belconnen COME mostly from North Canberra and Gungahlin.

2017 ACT Household Travel Survey slide 7
Origins of ALL trips in Belconnen, Belconnen residents, 2017 ACT Household Travel Survey (ACT Government, 2018)

The possible reasons for travel in the survey were: work related, personal business, pick-up / drop-off someone, education, buy something, social / recreational, or other purposes. The portion of the time for each activity is shown in the graph below. The same is done for the time of day travelled.

2017 ACT Household Travel Survey slide 5
Distance travelled by purpose, Belconnen residents, 2017 ACT Household Travel Survey (ACT Government, 2018)

One of the most interesting things from this survey is the distance people travel. For Belconnen, we see that the average trip distance to work is less than 10km, which again is very similar to the ACT average. Commuting 10 km to work is not a difficult thing to do. This means that half of all commuting trips could be accomplished with a bike.

2017 ACT Household Travel Survey slide 4
Average trip distances, Belconnen residents, 2017 ACT Household Travel Survey (ACT Government, 2018)

Urban planners are not only interested in why people travel but whether this travel is local. The ambition that most of our needs should be available locally in the district. Belconnen, in this respect, is better than the ACT average. The exception is work, where Belconnen is average. In the ACT, only 30% of ACT residents find work in the district in which they live. As the districts are close together and the travel distance is less than 10 km for half of us, this would suggest that work in adjacent districts are important, too.

2017 ACT Household Travel Survey slide 3
Travel satisfied locally, Belconnen residents, 2017 ACT Household Travel Survey (ACT Government, 2018)

Try it out yourself

Hard to see here and online due to the print size, but the tabs across the top are for each graph type: mode share, purpose, local trips, trip distances, total distance, travel locations, origins of travel, and more.

2017 ACT Household Travel Survey (ACT Government, 2018)

Ideally, the data would be made available as an Excel file, as the ABS does with the Census. This is currently not the case.

Photo by Luis Quintero on Pexels.com
Photo by Luis Quintero on Pexels.com

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