How commuters got to workplaces in Melbourne, 2006 and 2011

Sun 3 March, 2013

[Updated in July 2013 with higher resolution maps using Destination Zone data]

My earlier post about Melbourne journey to work 2011 focussed on where people live. This post focuses on where people work and what modes of transport they used to get there in 2006 and 2011. It also covers employment density and the home locations and associated mode shares for people travelling to the central city.

As per other posts, you will need to click on maps to see the detail/animation.

In this post you will see some maps at the SA2 level (approximately suburb size) and some at the destination zone level (the smallest resolution available):

  • For SA2 maps, I have mapped 2006 destination zones to (2011) SA2 areas based on the centroid of each 2006 destination zone (so not a perfect mapping – see here for a comparison map).
  • For destination zone maps, the boundaries of destination zones changed between 2006 and 2011, most commonly involving smaller destination zones in 2011, although the boundaries don’t always align. For both 2006 and 2011, I have only shown mode shares for destination zones where more than 100 people travelled with known mode(s) of transport. I don’t have destination zone level data for individual public transport (PT) modes for 2011.

See also an earliersimilar postcovering 2006 journey to work data for Melbourne, and a similar post covering journeys to workplaces in Brisbane.

Employment density

Firstly, what does the employment density of Melbourne look like?

Click on the following map to see an animation flipping between 2006 and 2011:

DZ employment density

While it looks like a lot of jobs have disappeared from Melbourne between 2006 and 2011, the difference in amount of shaded area is because 2011 has smaller destination zones than 2006. The destination zones from 2006 have been split into smaller zones, and often only one of those zones has significant employment.

You can see Melbourne’s second biggest jobs cluster – the Monash precinct – in the south-eastern suburbs near Clayton.

Here’s another look at the employment distribution (for people with a known travel destination) as well as people in the labour force:

jobs and labour force by distance from GPO

Note that this is a measure of employment in rings around Melbourne, and the outer rings have significantly more land area than the inner rings.

Between 2006 and 2011, significant employment growth occurred in the inner city, and at around 18 km from the CBD. That 18 km ring happens to include the significant employment precincts at Southland/Cheltenham, Monash, Nunawading, Burwood East, Greensborough, and Campbellfield.

While around 30% of the labour force did not travel to a known work location on census day, there’s still an imbalance between jobs and workers by distance from the city (many distance rings have twice as many people in the labour force and jobs), which of course leads to a lot of generally radial commuter travel.

Mode share by workplace location

So what are mode share like for different places of employment across Melbourne?

Public transport

Firstly a map showing mode share for destination zones (click to zoom in and animate):

PT mode share Melbourne

Please try not to be too distracted by the changing red and white areas on the fringe of Melbourne. The white areas are destination zones with less than 100 employees who travelled on census day. Because the destination zones were re-cut between 2006 and 2011, the location of zones with less than 100 employees changed significantly.

The inner city area shows a lot of change, so here is a zoomed-in animated map at destination zone level, with public transport mode share numbers overlaid (sorry the CBD is a bit hard to read as the destination zones were almost all halved in size in 2011).

PT mode share Melbourne inner

To perhaps enable a fairer comparison, the following animated map shows public transport mode share at SA2 level (2006 being a mapping of destination zones to SA2s):

Melb dest public

Public transport mode share was highest in the CBD, then for areas around the CBD and stretching a little more to the inner east. Box Hill stands out as a suburban location with a relatively high mode share (13% in 2011).

Here is a map that shows the mode shift to public transport for each SA2 (bearing in mind that there isn’t a perfect mapping from 2006 destination zones to 2011 SA2s):

Melb dest PT mode shift 06 to 11

The biggest mode shifts towards public transport were:

Docklands 10.5%
South Yarra – East 6.5%
South Yarra – West 6.0%
Fitzroy 5.8%
Richmond 4.8%
Collingwood 4.7%
Albert Park 4.4%
Watsonia 4.4%
North Melbourne 4.3%
Caulfield – North 4.3%
Mount Evelyn 4.1%
Springvale South 4.1%
Parkville 3.8%
Camberwell 3.8%
Prahran – Windsor 3.8%
Hawthorn 3.6%
Kensington 3.6%
Abbotsford 3.6%
Carnegie 3.6%
South Melbourne 3.3%

Most of the above are in the inner city, but there are exceptions of Watsonia, Mount Evelyn and Springvale South (all off a very small base in 2006).

Some interesting rises in the suburbs include:

  • Doncaster 5.5% to 8.3%, probably related to the introduction of several SmartBus services
  • Frankston North 2.6% to 5.0%, again probably influenced by the introduction of SmartBus services
  • Forest Hill 5.2% to 7.8% (not sure why)
  • Mill Park North 1.7% to 4.2% (note the South Morang rail extension was not open in 2011, but SmartBus services had been introduced by the 2011 census)
  • Box Hill 10.2% to 12.7%, possibly related to upgraded SmartBus services
  • Noble Park 3.0% to 5.4% (not sure why)

Some interesting declines include:

  • Montrose – there are boundary differences between 2006 and 2011 with many more jobs counted in 2011. It would appear there might be an employer around the western end of York Road with higher PT mode share.
  • Cairnlea 6.6% to 2.4% (almost certainly because Victoria University St Albans Campus is mapped to this SA2 in 2006 but not in 2011)
  • Carlton North – Princes Hill 13.1% to 10.4% (which also had an increase in walking and cycling)
  • Port Melbourne 14.7% to 12.6% (not sure why, perhaps more people walked to work from the increasingly dense local residential area)

As an aside, here are 2011 public transport mode shares for journeys to work at major Australian airports (where there is an “Airport” named SA2):

  • Sydney 13.9%
  • Melbourne 3.8% (up from 2.5% in 2006)
  • Brisbane 3.1%
  • Adelaide 2.6%
  • Perth 1.7%
  • Darwin 1.7%

Train

Melb dest train

Train mode share was highest in the CBD and surrounding inner city areas. Notably, mode shares were relatively higher in the inner east and south-east (particularly Caulfield, Camberwell and Hawthorn) compared to other inner areas.

Here is the mode shift to trains between 2006 and 2011:

Melb dest train shift

The biggest rises were in Docklands (up 9.2%), South Yarra (up 5.6%) and then a few other inner suburban destinations.

In 2011, 47% of journeys to work in Greater Melbourne involving train were to the Melbourne CBD. This rises to 59% when adding Southbank and Docklands.

Tram

Unfortunately I do not have 2006 data for “any journey involving tram” below the SLA level, so here is the 2011 picture at SA2 level, with the tram network shown as green lines:

Melb dest tram 2011

I must say I was surprised by the CBD figure of only 14.9% (and I did double-check the data).

Tram mode share was highest in the SA2s of Albert Park and South Yarra West (which straddle the St Kilda Road office precinct which has very high tram frequencies). Other work destinations with higher tram mode shares included Parkville, Carlton, Fitzroy and South Melbourne.

Perhaps there was some under-reporting of tram journeys as a “secondary” mode in people’s journey to work? In Parkville (which includes the main University of Melbourne campus, the hospitals precinct and Royal Park), there were more people reporting only train (934) than train+tram (772) and train+bus (275). I would expect most of those jobs to be remote from Royal Park station, and the southern section of the SA2 is at least a 1 km walk from Melbourne Central train station. Another example is South Melbourne – all of which is more than 1.2 km from a train station, yet 1240 people reported only train in their journey to work, while 894 reported train+tram. While of course some people will walk longer distances from train stations to work, the numbers seem a little high to me.

37% of journeys to work in Greater Melbourne involving tram were to a destination in the Melbourne CBD. If you add in Southbank, Docklands, Parkville and South Melbourne the share goes to 56%.

Bus

Again, I do not have comparable data for 2006, so here is a 2011 map:

Melb dest bus 2011

Bus mode share was highest in Malvern East (which includes Chadstone Shopping Centre), followed by Doncaster, Maribyrnong (which includes Highpoint Shopping Centre), Carlton and the Melbourne CBD. Mount Evelyn is curiously high at 5.8%, with 45 people travelling by bus to workplaces there.

Only 21% (9905) of journeys to Greater Melbourne workplaces involving bus were to the CBD, with the next highest SA2 counts in Docklands (1175), Clayton (1160), Dandenong (1157), Southbank (1071) and Parkville (1046). This would suggest that growth in CBD employment is unlikely to be one of the major factors in bus patronage growth in Melbourne (unlike train and tram).

Cycling

Due to the nature of the data I have for 2006, this analysis excludes journeys also involving public transport or trucks (yes, there were 39 people who said they travelled to work by truck and bicycle in Australia in 2011!). This is another animated map, so click to enlarge and see the changes.

Melb dest bicycle

Here’s an animated close up of the inner city area for destination zones (with a different scale):

bicycle mode share DZ Melbourne inner

Cycling to work boomed in inner Melbourne between 2006 and 2011, particularly to workplaces in the inner north. Princess Hill had the highest bike share of 14% in 2011 (possibly dominated by Princess Hill Secondary College employees), followed by a pocket of south-west Carlton that jumped from around 5% to 13%. Apart from the inner north, there were notable increases in Richmond, Balaclava, Yarraville and Southbank

Here’s a view of the mode shift to bicycle at SA2 level:

Melb dest bicycle shift

Relatively small mode shifts away from bicycle were observed in the outer eastern suburbs and around Aspendale to Carrum.

I should point out that the census is conducted in winter (August), and warmer weather bicycle mode shares of journeys to work are likely to be higher.

Variations in daily weather can also cause differences in behaviour between censuses, that don’t actually reflect longer term trends. On census day in 2006, Melbourne had a temperature range of 5.3 – 17.9 degrees and no reported rain. On census day in 2011 the temperature ranged from 7 to 12.6, and there was 0.2mm of rain reported. So 2011 weather was perhaps a little less favourable for cycling (and walking). I’m not sure what time of day that rain fell in 2011.

Other time series data on cycling in Melbourne is published by VicRoads.

Walking (only)

Here’s a look walk-only mode shares by destination zones:

Walk only mode share Melbourne

Click to see the animation, and again, please try not to be distracted by the changes in white areas.

Here’s walking mode share by SA2 2006 v 2011 (but with a different colour scale):

Melb dest walk only

Walking mode share is a mixed bag across the city. High walking mode shares are evident in Parkville, Carlton North/Princes Hill, around St Kilda, the Simpson Army Barracks (in Yallambie), but also some rural areas. In the Koo Wee Rup SA2, 8.7% of employees walked to work, 41% of whom were in the “Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing” industry.

The lowest walking-only mode shares were at the airports (Melbourne, Essendon and Moorabbin), some industrial areas and generally in the outer suburbs of Melbourne.

Here is mode shift to walking:

Melb dest walk only shift

Mode shift to walking was more common in the northern suburbs and some outer eastern suburbs, but not so much in the inner city. Mode shift away from walking only to work was observed in many outer eastern and north-eastern suburbs. Again, daily weather variations might explain some of the changes that are not really trends.

Note: the neighbouring SA2s of Wheelers Hill and Glen Waverley East each showed mode shifts in opposite directions. This is almost certainly to do with the Police Academy being mapped into a different SA2 in 2006 due to the imperfect mapping between 2006 destination zones and 2011 SA2s.

Sustainable transport

I’ve defined sustainable transport here as any journey involving public transport, plus any journey that only involved walking and/or cycling.

Melb dest sustainable

Sustainable transport mode share was highest in the CBD and immediate surrounding areas. Sustainable transport was relatively higher for workplaces in the inner north, east and south-east compared to the inner west.

Melb dest sustainable shift

Mode shift to sustainable transport was most prevalent in the inner north and inner south.

Some interesting suburban mode shifts to sustainable transport include:

  • Upwey – Tecoma (mainly walking)
  • Dandenong North (mostly a mix of walking and public transport)
  • Gladstone Park – Westmeadows 3.1% (most of which was public transport mode shift, possibly relating to the introduction of SmartBus services),
  • Altona Meadows (mostly public transport, probably relating to the City West waste purification plant being mapped into this SA2 only in 2006)
  • Watsonia (possibly a result of destination zone to SA2 mapping issues)

Commuting to the central city, 2011

The central city is an important destination as it has the highest employment density and is where public transport is best-placed to compete against the car. For analysis in this section I am using the combination of the Melbourne CBD, Southbank, Docklands, Carlton, North Melbourne and East Melbourne SA2s as my definition of the “central city” (which is different to other posts on this blog – I am deliberately choosing a larger area to get a better sense of origins and mode shares).

Here’s a map showing the proportion (%) of commuters who had a destination of central Melbourne in 2011 (by place of usual residence at SA1 geography):

Melb 2011 share to central city v2

The prevalence of the CBD as a work destination is almost directly proportional to the distance people live from the CBD, although rates are relatively higher around train lines.

Notable outliers include:

  • Point Cook, Tarneit, Caroline Springs in the western suburbs with a higher central city share, possibly reflecting a workers-to-jobs imbalance in the outer western suburbs, particularly for white-collar workers (I might explore that more in a future post)
  • East Doncaster, which has a relatively high central city share, possibly as a result of frequent express bus services to the city
  • A pocket of St Kilda East and Caulfield North between the Sandringham and Caulfield rail lines that has a low share despite being relatively close to the city (not sure why that might be)

The next map shows the share of central city commuters who used public transport in their journey to work (by home location). I’ve only shaded SA1s with 20 or more central city commuters (which I admit is quite small for calculating mode shares).

Note: I have not filtered SA1s by density on the following maps (unlike others), so some low density SA1s are included.

Melb 2011 PT share to central city

Here’s a similar map showing mode shares at SA2 level (SA2s with less than 100 central city workers not shown), which overcomes the problem of low densities of central city workers in the outer suburbs:

Melb 2011 PT share to central SA2

Public transport mode share was particularly high for those in middle to outer suburbs around the rail lines, although less so along the Sandringham, Sydenham and Werribee lines.

It was lowest around:

  • the city centre itself (more on that in a moment)
  • Western Kew in the inner east (a relatively wealthy area)
  • Sanctuary Lakes in the south-western suburbs (largely remote from public transport in 2011)
  • Pockets of Caroline Springs
  • Areas of Templestowe, Donvale, Research and North Warrandyte in the east-north-eastern suburbs (but not central Doncaster where there is a high frequency freeway bus service to the CBD)
  • Areas around Keilor East and Avondale Heights (like Kew, close to the CBD but remote from train lines)
  • Greenvale (a relatively wealthy area)
  • Brighton and Toorak (very wealthy areas)

Here’s the share of people who only used private motorised transport to commute to the CBD (as SA1 level):

Melb 2011 Private share to central city

This map is largely the inverse of the previous SA1 map, except for areas near the inner city, suggesting active transport is being used by residents of the central city to get to work in the central city, as you might expect.

Finally, here is a map showing the density of people who work in the central city:

Melb 2011 density of central city workers

This map effectively combines population density with the proportion of workers travelling to the central city. The density falls away with distance from the city (quite markedly south of Elwood), but there are outliers in pockets of Carnegie, Point Cook, East Doncaster, Deer Park, Mitcham, Bundoora, and Heatherton (not all of which are connected to the city by high quality public transport).

A similar analysis could be conducted to other employment centres, although numbers per SA1 will be much smaller, and it would be time-consuming.

If you spot any other interesting changes and/or have explanations for them, I would welcome comments.


How did Sydney get to work in 2006?

Fri 26 October, 2012

With the imminent release of 2011 census journey to work data (30 October 2012), I thought it would be worth completing a look at 2006 data for Sydney and other cities. This post will take a more detailed look at Sydney, thanks to the free data provided by ABS and the Bureau of Transport Statistics New South Wales (BTS NSW).

There are five parts to this post:

  1. Mode share by home location
  2. Mode share by work location
  3. Mode share for Sydney CBD workers
  4. An employment density map of Sydney
  5. The relationship between employment density and mode share

(get ready for 25 charts!)

In future posts I hope to look at Adelaide, Perth and Brisbane in more detail, and also compare 2006 and 2011 results.

Firstly a few definitions for mode shares:

  • Public transport: Any journey involving any public transport mode (private transport might also have been involved – eg park and ride).
  • Active transport: A journey that only involved only walking and/or cycling.
  • Sustainable transport: Public transport + Active transport (note: this includes private+public journeys, but not private+cycling journeys).

Also, I have included railway lines on the following maps, however the data I have is unfortunately quite old and doesn’t show the CBD area rail network or the airport line (the Epping-Chatswood line was not operational in 2006).

Method of journey to work by home location

Data is readily available on journey to work by home census collection district, however this is by place of usual residence. Ideally mode shares should be measured using place of enumeration (where people actually were on census night), but I haven’t forked out the $750 required to get access to ABS TableBuilder Pro which would provide that data. So the data I’m presenting is not ideal as some people would have been away from home on census morning and their modes of travel will be associated with their usual residence.

But the data still provides a fairly good feel for what happened as most people were probably at their usual residence, and hopefully most people filled out their forms accurately.

Public transport mode share

Sydney is a sea of green on this map (other cities will have the same colour scale, stay tuned!). Public transport use in journey to work was highest in the inner city area and along the train lines. It was lowest in the outer suburbs beyond the rail lines.

Train

There are three large and stark areas of red near the CBD and close to train lines. Most of these areas are served by direct and frequent bus services to the CBD, and while for some it might be quicker to change onto a train, this would probably be more expensive. Also, the area around Castle Hill has very low train mode share, although we will see shortly that of the small number who do commute to the CBD about three-quarters use public transport.

I note that the airport rail line (not drawn on the map) resulted in a high train mode share at Mascot but not at Green Square.

Bus

Bus mode share was high in the suburbs close to the Sydney CBD, but very low in the outer suburbs (with exceptions around Palm Beach in the north, Castle Hill (served by freeway buses), and seemingly random pockets north of Mount Druitt).

Train and bus

The following map shows people who used both train and bus in their journey to work:

I’ve used the same colour scale as other maps, and so most of the city is red indicating very few bus-train transfers. The curious exception is around Bondi Beach/Bronte. This is probably all to do with the special Link Tickets that allow bus and train travel on the one ticket in this area only. They are designed for people visiting these areas, but they seem to be very popular with locals travelling to work.

I do wonder what would happen if there were valuable integrated tickets for more places (perhaps we’ll see some differences for 2011 thanks to MyZone).

Ferry

I’ve zoomed into the harbour for this map, and included the ferry wharves (some receiving a much more frequent peak period service than others).

You can see high mode shares on the north shore, to the inner east, and around Manly (wharves which probably have fairly direct services to the CBD). This includes some areas a fair walk from the ferry terminals – with some people probably using connecting buses. In fact, here is a map showing bus and ferry commuters mostly on the north shore (note different colour scale):

Public and Private transport combined

The following map shows the percentage of people who used public transport as well as car, motorcycle and/or truck to get to work (again using a different colour scale):

Use of both public and private modes is most common in the northern suburbs around Hornsby (areas away from the train line), around Macquarie Park (now served by rail), north of Blacktown (now serviced by bus rapid transit), and west of Sutherland.

Cycling

The following map also uses the different scale, and I have zoomed into the areas with significant bicycle mode share.

The cycling mode share peaks at 11% from a pocket of Enmore, and seems to be the domain of the inner southern suburbs.

Active transport (only)

The following map shows people who only used walking and/or cycling to get to work:

You can see the walking/cycling hot spots are around the CBD, North Sydney, Parramatta, Chatswood, Liverpool, Penrith, and around Randwick/UNSW.

Method of journey to work by work location

Here is a map showing the public transport mode share of journeys to travel zones in Sydney in 2006 (where 200 or more journeys were made):

It’s not just the Sydney CBD that had reasonably high public transport mode share. Public transport mode share peaked in the centre of the following regional hubs:

  • North Sydney 53%
  • Bondi Junction: 41%
  • Parramatta: 38%
  • Chatswood: 35%
  • St Leonards: 34%

(these are the highest value recorded by any travel zone in each centre).

By contrast, analysis of destination mode share for Melbourne showed all major suburban centres to have well less than 15% public transport mode share (most less than 10%).

Public transport mode share was also quite clearly higher along the train lines – particularly in the middle and outer suburbs.

Here are enlargements of inner Sydney and the Sydney CBD area:

 

Here’s a map showing active transport mode share for greater Sydney workplace destinations:

Active transport was most commonly used to inner city areas including Newtown, Camperdown, Bondi Beach, Randwick, Paddington and Potts Point.  However it was low in the Sydney CBD. The Holsworthy Military Camp as a large green area in the south with high active transport mode share – probably because the military staff live on site. People more familiar with Sydney might be able to comment further.

Here is sustainable transport mode share (public transport and active transport combined, everything else being private motorised transport). You can see that private transport was by far the dominant for western Sydney jobs.

Journeys to work in the Sydney CBD

Here’s a map showing the public transport mode share by home location of journeys to work in the Sydney CBD (defined as the Sydney – inner SLA, the only red SLA on the map):

Public transport had a mode share around 70-80% for large areas of Sydney (in contrast to Melbourne where 60-70% was more common). However there was a much lower share from the CBD itself and areas adjacent.

Were they walking or cycling instead?

Well, yes for the City of Sydney areas, but not for Woollahra to the east. On the following sustainable transport mode share map, you can see that around 35% of workers from Woollahra commuted to the CBD by private transport (note I have used a different scale for this map):

Sustainable mode share is highest from the western and south-western suburbs, whereas many people chose to drive from the northern suburbs, the southern coastal areas, and even the inner eastern suburbs.

But what proportion of the working population commuted to the CBD?

Compared to the Melbourne CBD, the Sydney CBD seems to have a stronger role, even though Sydney has major employment centres outside the central CBD.

For anyone interested, here are similar maps for North Sydney and Parramatta as work destinations:

Sydney’s employment density

The BTS data also allows the construction of an employment density map. I’ve drawn this map based on people who travelled to each destination zone on census day.

And a zoom in on the inner city:

Employment density and mode share

Finally. here is a look at the relationship between employment density and public, active and private transport mode share (by workplace zone).

I must stress that these results will strongly reflect the design of public transport – which is heavily geared towards places with high employment density (such as the Sydney CBD) as that is where public transport can generally complete strongest with private transport (the cost of parking and traffic congestion etc). By increasing employment density in any parcel of land you won’t automatically get high public transport mode share – you have to provide high quality public transport to that destination first!

No surprises there!

Was that what you expected? Active transport actually had the highest mode share in areas with the lower employment densities. These are likely to be mixed residential/employment areas where employees can live close by, military camps, and farms.

Finally, it will be little surprise that the lower employment densities had the highest private transport mode shares. These areas are likely to have ample room for free employee parking, and public transport is likely to struggle to efficiently deliver a small number of employees over a large area.


Transport mode share to employment areas in Melbourne 2006

Fri 19 November, 2010

In another post, I’ve mapped out the transport mode shares by residential origins. These maps are fairly common. But what are the mode shares like for employment destinations across Melbourne?

In this post I have mapped out the public transport, car and bicycle mode shares for journey work in each “destination zone” (the smallest unit in the ABS journey to work census data) from the 2006 census.

Note:

  • In the mode share maps I have only shown zones with an employment density of 1000 people per square km or higher to avoid small sample sizes causing issues (people work almost everywhere, but I want to focus on denser employment areas).
  • I’ve removed “did not travel”, “worked from home”, “all other modes” and “method not stated” from my mode share calculations. We don’t know the real mode share, but hopefully the mode shares under “all other modes” and “method not stated” are not too different from those where we know the mode.

Employment Density

But before looking at mode shares, it is worth looking at employment density. To view these maps you’ll need to click to zoom (open them in a new window if you can).

You can see:

  • Dense employment in the inner city (no surprises)
  • Industrial areas like Monash, South Dandenong, Somerton, North Altona, Moorabbin, and Bayswater.
  • Major shopping centres (at least those that have their own destination zone) such as Werribee Plaza, Sunshine, Moonee Ponds, Northland, Box Hill, Doncaster Shoppingtown, Greensborough, Ringwood, Knox City, Chadstone, Fountain Gate, Southland, Forest Hill.
  • Other dense suburban spots include Tooronga (Coles headquarters) and Camberwell (shops plus some office buildings)

Looking at the inner city area:

Obviously the CBD is dense, but there is a corridor north of the CBD towards Melbourne University, and south along St Kilda Road. The densities are very high when you have high-rise buildings, so it is a little difficult to show the variation. But can at least look for building shadows on Near Maps.

Public Transport mode share

You can pretty clearly see a high public transport mode share for destinations in the inner city, and very low mode shares in the suburbs.

However there are a few spots in the suburbs with relatively higher public transport mode shares than surrounding areas:

  • Monash University Clayton campus (parking is not easy and this is a focal point for the local bus network)
  • Huntingdale near the station (unclear why the high mode share in 2006)
  • Moorabbin near the station (an activity centre including some office buildings)
  • Box Hill (a Central Activities District on a frequent train line and significant bus interchange).
  • Ringwood (also a Central Activities District on a rail junction in the outer east)

And the mode shares to large suburban shopping centres (remember these are journeys to work only) are surprisingly high (relatively anyway):

  • Chadstone 13%
  • Southland 12%
  • Northland 10%
  • Highpoint 10%
  • Doncaster (Shoppingtown) 8%
  • Fountain Gate 7%
  • Knox City 7%
  • Werribee Plaza 6%

An aside: it’s unfortunate that some shopping centre owners are less enthusiastic about providing good facilities for buses, even though around 1 in 10 of their workforce comes by bus (all of the above listed centres are not served by trains). I am now armed with some factoids.

Notably, public transport mode shares were quite low at three of the nominated Central Activities Districts (CADs), including Broadmeadows, Dandenong and Frankston. If these are to be successful CADs, then public transport will need to be made a much more attractive access mode. I suspect this requires a focus on the local bus networks, as peak rail services to these centres are already quite frequent).

So what about the inner city area? This map zooms in, and I’ve actually labelled the public transport mode share for each destination zone (again you will need to open the enlargement in a new tab to see).

You can see public transport has a high mode share in the CBD grid and surrounds. It peaks at 70% at a few places in the CBD grid.

But it drops off fairly quickly as you move away:

  • Mode share drops into the 21-45% range in the Southbank/South Melbourne area. Essentially most people need to transfer to tram to get there (the 55 tram runs through the middle of it, but the only real train interchange location is Flagstaff, in the north of the CBD)
  • The Parkville precinct has mode shares around 35% (accessible by frequent trams that do interchange with Melbourne Central station).
  • The northern parts of Docklands have only 22% public transport mode share. These areas are awkward to reach by public transport (long walk from Southern Cross station, a slow tram connection, or a walk from a bus stop)
  • The Dynon area (WNW of the CBD) has only 8% mode share, despite being served by frequent buses. This is probably to do with the industries present – freight transport (early starts) and the Wholesale Fruit and Vegetable Market (which opens at 3:30 am or 4:30 am depending on the day of the week).
  • St Kilda Road to the south of the CBD has many high-rise office blocks, but public transport mode share ranges from 23 to 32% in the lower section, despite extremely frequent tram services along St Kilda Road that provide direct access from many inner south-eastern suburbs. In the AM peak, the busiest direction for trams on St Kilda Road is actually southbound – as people transfer from trains at Flinders Street.  The new rail tunnel is proposed to run through the CBD and terminate at Domain Road. The tunnel won’t improve public transport access for the thousands of employees who live  in the inner south-east until it is extended to Caulfield (I’ll look at this in more detail in another post).
  • The Fishermans Bend area (across the river, WSW of the CBD) has mode shares around 5%. This area is served by buses from the CBD that actually have a peak flow out of the CBD in the AM peak. As I will show in another post, most of the workers in Fishermans Bend come from the western suburbs of Melbourne, and presumably a great many of them drive to work across the Westgate Bridge. There is one bus route (232) that runs across the Westgate Bridge and along Williamstown Road (which borders the Port Melbourne industrial area to the south), however it has a very limited catchment in North Altona.

If density is good for public transport, then where are the dense employment areas with low public transport mode share? The following map shows destination zones with employment density over 3000 per square kilometre and public transport mode share less than 10% (arbitrary cut-offs I realise):

These should be strong candidates for gaining greater public transport mode share, perhaps if they were better served by better public transport.

Walking through the locations:

  • Fishermans Bend already has reasonable peak period public transport, but it comes from the CBD, while the workers come from the western suburbs and have to transfer.
  • Werribee town centre and Werribee Plaza Shopping Centre – the bus routes to these centres run every 40 or 60 minutes in the peak.
  • Tooronga – the Coles Headquarters – a long walk from the station or nearby tram, or a half hourly north-south bus service. Not to mention some big hills and presumably cheap parking.
  • Large areas of Monash including Clayton, Notting Hill, Mount Waverley. Some parts of this area were serviced by SmartBus routes (703 along Blackburn and 888/9 along Springvale Roads) in 2006. Another (900) has been introduced along Wellington Road since. However issues in this area include that many of the employees come from the south-eastern suburbs (requiring transfers from a train as opposed to easy access from the Monash Freeway), and that the road grid spacing is large – many workplaces will be a long walk from bus stops.
  • Glen Waverley – around the train station. Note really sure why, it has good access by bus and train.
  • The Tally Ho business park in Burwood East (at the intersection of tram 75 and a SmartBus route 888/9). A classic car-orientated suburban business park (including a VicRoads office no less).
  • The south-eastern corner of Moorabbin – this area is served by a few peak period only bus trips.
  • Central Dandenong – many bus routes into Dandenong operate only hourly. A SmartBus route has since been introduced (901).
  • Fountain Gate – again many hourly or worse bus frequencies in the outer south-eastern suburbs.
  • Cranbourne Shops – many low frequency bus routes (some trips bypass the shopping centre in peak periods).
  • Central Frankston – on a train line, but many low frequency bus routes. A SmartBus route has since been introduced from the north (901).
  • A patch in Kew along Denmark Street. Which happens to include the VicRoads head office and Xavier College  (PT mode share around 9%).
  • Along Whitehorse Road in Blackburn and Mitcham, including areas a decent walk from the train stations. A SmartBus service (901) has just been introduced along this stretch of Whitehorse Road.
  • Bayswater industrial area – served by some peak period only bus deviations.
  • Heidelberg – just west of the rail line include the Austin Hospital. A SmartBus route (903) has since been introduced through Heidelberg. The area around Box Hill Hospital shows up – this may reflect the many shift workers involved in a hospital operation.
  • Preston around High Street. A SmartBus service (903) now goes through here also.
  • Broadmeadows – a Central Activities District which was at the end of a metropolitan train line in 2006 and buses ran relatively infrequently (many every 30-40 minutes). On Near Map it looks like half the landspace is occupied by car parking! It’s recently had two SmartBus routes introduced (901 and 902).
  • Sunshine, north of the station. The main retail area was developed away from the station and bus interchange and half the landscape is filled with car parking. A SmartBus route (903) now runs through this area. And would you believe there is a major VicRoads office there also?
  • Central Greensborough – two SmartBus routes have now been introduced to this centre (901 and 902), improving access from all directions

Car mode share

Public transport doesn’t represent the full sustainable transport mode share as many people can walk or cycle. So the following chart looks at non-sustainable mode share – ie cars.

Apart from the inner city areas, car clearly dominates. The furthest out any level of escape from the car reaches is St Kilda in the south, Brunswick in the north, and Glenferrie in the east (probably the Swinburne University campus).

In the inner city area:

You can see high car mode shares even near the city:

  • Car mode share is in the 60s around Melbourne University (the main university campus area itself at 40%)
  • Most of St Kilda Road around the 60s
  • 92% in Fishermans Bend
  • 80% in Abbotsford on the north side of Victoria Street (a very heavily congested street due to lack of options in the area)

But you can also see the area immediately east of the CBD block at 28%. This block is full of decision makers from the Parliament House and several central agencies of state government. Is that encouraging? For the record: census day in 2006 was a parliamentary sitting day.

Bicycle mode share

Finally, a look at bicycle mode share (although actually this is any trip involving bicycle, including riding to a train station). This is a bit unkind because it all depends on the weather of the day (I cannot find records, but as I recall it was not a very rainy day).

The numbers are very small, but there are a few standouts:

  • 10% mode share to the main Melbourne University campus (and remember, this is only journeys to work, not journeys to study)
  • 9% mode share to the Victorian College of the Arts in Southbank
  • 8% in central Fitzroy Street, around Brunswick Street. Very bike friendly streets in this area, and car parking is more limited.

It will be very interesting to see these numbers for 2011, as there has been a boom in cycling in Melbourne in recent year.

A future post will look at where employees come from for each major employment area. Do public transport join homes and workplaces well?