Where do people in Melbourne go to work?

Sat 23 April, 2011

[Updated in August 2011 with a better map format, and now maps for 21 SLAs]

In an earlier post, I looked at where employees come from for some major employment destinations around Melbourne. This post does the flip-side: What are the work destinations for people in different parts of Melbourne? How well does the current public transport network connect people to where they work? What implications does this have for the proposed rail lines to Doncaster and Rowville?

I’ll take a detailed look at Rowville, Manningham, and Berwick, and a briefer look at Altona, Broadmeadows, Cranbourne, and Sunshine.

About the maps

I’ve used a dataset of that contains the volumes of people commuting each SLA (Statistical Local Area) to destination zones in Melbourne from the 2006 census (with thanks to the Department of Transport). I’ve then trimmed each destination zone to keep only areas where employment activity would be expected (using ABS mesh blocks). That is, I’ve removed parklands, residential areas, etc.

Then I’ve used dot distribution mapping, where each dot represents 10 or 15 employee destinations (depending on the SLA). I’ve also overlaid each SLA’s percentage share of journey to work destinations from the SLA in question (shaded yellow), to give a broader perspective.

Rowville

The “Knox (C) South” SLA might as well be called Rowville as that suburb dominates the SLA. The following map shows the density of worker destinations in 2006. (As usual, you’ll need to click to zoom in and see the detail).

There are quite a few dense destinations within the SLA, including (hyperlinks are to Melway maps):

Nearby destinations to the west include:

Major destinations to the north and south include:

Further afield there are concentrations in:

You’ll also find that most schools in and near Rowville show up on the map.

Rowville is only served by buses for public transport, but there are now direct connections from Rowville to most of these destinations, particularly following the introduction of SmartBus routes 900 (west to Clayton, Oakleigh, Chadstone and Caulfield) and 901 (north Knox and Ringwood, and south to Dandenong and Frankston). The 900 was a completely new route, and the 901 an upgrade of an existing route, both occurring after the 2006 census.

However neither of those routes operate east of Stud Road, where most Rowville residents are located. Those people need to change buses at Stud Park Shopping Centre, which is not easy as most local bus routes in eastern Rowville run every 30 minutes in the peak (and are highly indirect). You can see the local network on the Metlink public transport map for the Rowville area:

The recent Bus Service Review in the area did propose route 900 be extended east towards Ferntree Gully which would introduce a direct public transport connection to many of the major employment destinations for local residents.

Notable destinations not well connected by public transport include:

  • The Caribbean Business Park in Scoresby (marked Caribbean Gardens on the above map): The only access by public transport is the 753 and 693 bus routes at the northern edge. There are around five trips per hour combined in the AM peak, but the headway becomes 30 minutes later in the AM peak. This business park only has one entrance road and is away from major public transport routes making it difficult to service. It is however conveniently located next to Eastlink, and obviously has a high car dependence. They just need to hope oil prices stay cheap. Well, cheap-ish.
  • The Notting Hill industrial area around Ferntree Gully Road: People wanting to get to jobs in this area need to change buses. The current network allows you to reach Notting Hill by changing between bus routes that operate every 15 minutes (which could be worse).
  • The Tally Ho business park in Burwood East (corner Burwood Highway and Springvale Road): This is at the intersection of a SmartBus route and a tram line, so there is relatively good public transport to the site. However the challenge is the distance involved, and from Rowville a transfer is required between SmartBus routes.
  • The Bayswater industrial area: This is only directly connected from Rowville by three extended trips on bus route 691 in the AM peak. In the PM peak, no trips run through from Bayswater to Rowville, so a transfer is required at Boronia.
  • The Valley Private Hospital, which is just across Dandenong Creek in Mulgrave but not near any bridges.
  • The Coles Headquarters in Tooronga (Glen Iris). This employment centre is only really serviced by one bus route (624), or a lengthy (and hilly) walk from Tooronga train station or the Burke Road tram (72).
  • The Box Hill CAD, again some distance away. Can be reached with a bus-bus or bus-train transfer (about 1 hour on PT).
  • The St Kilda Road employment area is hard to reach (particularly adjacent to Albert Park). You either have to go to Flinders Street and catch a tram south (an indirect journey), get off a train at Armadale and transfer to a slow tram, or change from train to tram at South Yarra (but this only serves the northern end of the patch). Again, this looks like more evidence to support a new PT route from South Yarra Station to the Albert Park section of St Kilda Road (and possibly beyond). This was recommended as part of the Bus Service Review for the area.

The first two of these destinations are along Ferntree Gully Road, and so it might be tempting to try to run a new bus route from Rowville along Ferntree Gully Road. But rather than trying to pair all origins and destinations with direct bus routes (creating a large confusing network of low-frequency bus routes), maybe the answer lies in better frequency on the 693 (or more even headways between the 693 and 753) to reduce transfer penalties. Another improvement would be to introduce a stop on the four express route 754 trips, should that be deemed acceptable by the powers that be(!). The 754 express bus used to be the fastest way from Rowville to the CBD, but this is no longer the case following the introduction of the 900 SmartBus (in 2006).

The following table shows the total numbers of journeys to work to the top SLA destinations, and the public transport mode share

Destination SLA Journeys PT share
Knox (C) – South 2368 2%
Monash (C) – Waverley West 1128 2%
Gr. Dandenong (C) – Dandenong 1035 1%
Knox (C) – North-East 897 1%
Monash (C) – South-West 831 2%
Gr. Dandenong (C) Bal 829 1%
Kingston (C) – North 815 1%
Melbourne (C) – Inner 800 57%
Knox (C) – North-West 753 4%
Monash (C) – Waverley East 591 4%
Melbourne (C) – Remainder 430 23%
Whitehorse (C) – Box Hill 319 3%
Maroondah (C) – Croydon 305 0%

The City of Melbourne is the only destination with any serious PT mode share, which is important to keep in mind considering the above analysis. Perhaps the mode share for some of the directly connected destinations may have risen since 2006 due to the new SmartBus routes. But then maybe public transport will always struggle to compete with plentiful free employee parking (that employers are paying for).

What does this mean for a rail line to Rowville?

If rail were to run via Wellington Road, certainly it would connect Rowville to a number of its major employment destinations to the west. However if the rail ended at Stud Park Shopping Centre, there would still be a transfer problem for most people who live in the eastern part of Rowville (something that can be more easily fixed by extending existing SmartBus route 900). It would not also be an ideal park and ride station, being an activity centre with limited land space.

1450 people from Rowville commuted to the City of Melbourne, and a further 2550 commuted to the City of Monash, a total of 4000 trips (exactly, as it happens). If the train line achieved a 50% share of all travel to Melbourne and Monash (2000 people), that is 3 trains at comfortable loading from Rowville. Of course there would be additional demand from other areas along the route, and for trips to other destinations. But then again not all destinations in Monash and Melbourne would be well served by the rail line (eg Glen Waverley).

The Rowville Railway Prefeasibility Study 2004 (commissioned by Knox Council), simply assumed 7% of peak period journeys to work in the line’s catchment would use the train (refer page 38), without checking census data about where Rowville residents currently work (though it turns out that many do work along the rail line). They arrived at a figure of 3360 journeys to work by Rowville rail, using a total catchment population of 100,000 (allowing for park and ride), shown in the map below.

They assumed 70% of these would be within one hour and then calculated an “hourly” peak patronage estimate of 2352 trips. They described this figure as the patronage per hour in the peak, but this is a little misleading because the other 30% of journeys to work by train (1008) would be outside the busiest hour of the peak. Assuming a three hour AM peak, it might be around 500 for the first and third peak hours. Not a lot of demand.

Obviously university students and people travelling for other non-work purposes would add to these commuter figures, but I am not sure whether there will be sufficient demand to justify the cost of grade-separated heavy rail to a low-density area of Melbourne that is a not an urban growth area. While the residential densities in the catchment are not the lowest in Melbourne, there are large areas of parkland and other non-residential land use that dilutes the average density of the catchment (an issue that equally applies to the proposed Knox tram extension). A shorter line as far as Monash University might be more viable.

In addition, the study assumed a large park and ride catchment. For many people in this catchment, the car travel time saving of having a park and ride train station slightly closer on the Rowville line would be quite small. I suspect many of these trips will be diverted park and ride from the Dandenong and Glen Waverley lines, rather than trips mode shifted to public transport.

Alan Davies, on his Melbourne Urbanist blog has suggested that perhaps such a rail line should veer to the north to capture more of the Notting Hill employment area (and possibly also Chadstone Shopping Centre). Looking at the current employment destinations, there would appear to be some merit in this idea, as long as it still served Monash University. Although without a reservation in place, it would probably require a very expensive tunnel.

Perhaps in a future post I could look at the destinations of a broader catchment of the proposed Rowville rail line (although my dataset only has origins at the SLA level). Alas, I’m doing this in my own time, so I will have to see how I go.

Hopefully we will get a better feel for the economics in the upcoming study into Rowville rail.

Manningham West

The Manningham West SLA captures the main residential half of Manningham, centred around Doncaster, Templestowe and Donvale. Here is a map showing the employment destination densities for Manningham west residents:

Within the SLA, you can see various pockets of destination density, all of which are either shopping areas or schools. In fact, Manningham lacks any significant industrial areas, large medical facilities, or tertiary education institutions. Only 16% of Manningham west workers went to a job located within Manningham west (but this is not actually very low compared to other SLAs in Melbourne, perhaps the subject of future post).

Nearby major destinations include:

Major destinations further afield include:

  • Kew Junction
  • Hawthorn/Camberwell corridor, along Burwood Road/Camberwell Road, including Swinburne University
  • inner northern suburbs (Carlton/Fitzroy)
  • Melbourne CBD
  • St Kilda Road (particularly the Albert Park section)
  • Royal Melbourne Hospital and the Children’s Hospital in Parkville

In terms of public transport access to employment, the following destinations are more problematic:

  • Access to Heidelberg is only provided by the 903 SmartBus (although at a 7.5 minute frequency in peak periods making transfers from other routes easier). There is no east-west connection into Heidelberg from the Templestowe area (an issue identified in the bus service review).
  • There is no direct linkage to Ivanhoe, compounded by limited access to Heidelberg.
  • The hospitals in Parkville (which require two bus transfers, or a tram connection in the CBD)
  • St Kilda Road requires a tram transfer in the CBD. While this is relatively direct, it’s not particularly fast, and the City of Melbourne is planning to remove the tram stops at the corner of Swanston and Lonsdale Streets, the transfer point for such commuters (this is in fact the busiest tram-bus transfer location in all of Melbourne).

Until recently, the “Golden Mile” along Whitehorse Road had very little public transport coverage, but SmartBus route 901 now connects large parts of Manningham with this area (and Ringwood).

The following table shows the major SLA destinations:

Destination SLA Journeys PT share
Manningham (C) – West 5773 4%
Melbourne (C) – Inner 3819 53%
Melbourne (C) – Remainder 2421 20%
Whitehorse (C) – Box Hill 1768 8%
Yarra (C) – North 1201 9%
Banyule (C) – Heidelberg 1161 2%
Whitehorse (C) – Nunawading W. 1081 3%
Port Phillip (C) – West 902 17%
Boroondara (C) – Hawthorn 882 4%
Darebin (C) – Preston 874 2%
Monash (C) – Waverley West 834 2%
Melbourne (C) – S’bank-D’lands 742 33%
Yarra (C) – Richmond 715 9%

What does this mean for a rail line to Doncaster?

Certainly a railway between Doncaster and the city would connect Manningham West to many of its employment destinations in the inner city area.

The journey to work destination SLAs that would be served by a Doncaster railway (Melbourne Inner, Southbank/Docklands, Yarra (North and Richmond) and maybe half of Melbourne remainder) would cover around 8000 trips on 2006 census figures. If the public transport mode share to these SLAs was the same as for trips from all origins (other than the inner city and Manningham west), then that would be around 3900 journeys to work journeys by public transport, or around five comfortably full trains. Over a three hour peak period, that would require less than two trains per hour. However, adding non-work related trips, you might justify three trains per hour in the peak from Doncaster. This would be much less frequent than most train lines in Melbourne.

Doncaster rail also faces similar challenges to Rowville rail, in that most of the catchment would need to use car or bus to access the train line (assuming a Doncaster train line terminated at Doncaster Hill. Already a large regional shopping centre, there would be little room for park and ride, and commuter parking is probably the last sort of inactive land use you want in a major activity centre anyway.

Which would mean buses would need to be the primary access mode for train passengers. This introduces a transfer to most trips, when compared to current direct to city bus services available to most people in Manningham. Transfers bring walking and waiting times, and inconvenience and risk of missed connections (all up what transport planners call transfer penalties).

The Eddington East West Link Study includes an appendix summarising their assessment of mass transit options for Doncaster (appendix C, pages 272-8). It reports a heavy rail line would provide a journey time of 25-30 minutes from Doncaster Hill to Melbourne Central, and that a bus service with high levels of bus priority could complete the trip in 25-35 minutes. SmartBus route 907 is currently timetabled to take around 39 minutes between Doncaster Hill and Melbourne Central in the AM peak, so it would appear the study team anticipated greater bus priority.

Introducing a bus-train transfer to trips to the city would require maybe 5 minutes of transfer time, plus a transfer penalty to account for the inconvenience and missed transfer risk (particularly if trains only run every 15-20 minutes). The journey time advantage of heavy rail quickly evaporates when you include a bus-train transfer to most journeys. You would also need a large bus terminal capable of holding maybe 10-15 feeder buses all meeting the same train if you want to minimise transfer times.

I suspect the lack of compelling travel time savings, and relatively low transport demand will make it difficult to justify the capital cost of Doncaster rail, especially considering the tunnelling required when the line leaves the Eastern Freeway catchment (Eddington estimated a cost of $1.7-2b). This was the finding of Eddington study, but the detail of their analysis was unfortunately not published. And now we are going to have yet another study.

Another factor limiting demand on the corridor is the lack of specialised destinations (such as hospitals or universities) in Manningham to create demand outside commuter peak flows. For example, only 245 people reported commuting from Melbourne or Yarra to Manningham west in the 2006 census, and only 22 of them did so by public transport.

Of course building a train line would change land use patterns, which would probably increase the travel demand from what it was in 2006. But would this increase be enough to return a favourable benefit-cost ratio? And is the railway being built to meet existing latent demand, or create new demand?

Berwick

The Berwick SLA (part of Casey) is in Melbourne’s outer south eastern suburbs, and is still seeing urban growth.

The major local destinations include:

The biggest nearby destinations include:

Further afield destinations include:

Here is part of the Metlink map showing the Berwick area:

Notable destinations not well connected by public transport include:

  • The industrial area of Hallam. Bus route 828 almost reaches the Hallam industrial area, but then deviates north to residential areas (and I’m not advocating a change, by the way). Otherwise Hallam station is the south-east corner of the area.
  • The large employment area of Dandenong South. Reopening and providing pedestrian access to General Motors Station might help provide access to some parts (it is now ironically abutted by a large employee car park) (see wikipedia if you are interested in the history of this station). The bus service review for the area advocated new east-west routes from Berwick to Dandenong South, which would obviously greatly assist in connecting employees to workplaces. The bus network in Casey was upgraded in late 2010, but no east-west routes were introduced.
  • The Clayton/Mulgrave/Notting Hill industrial area is again a problem area. Some parts are near to train stations (providing a direct connection), but most require a change to a bus. For someone not living near a train station in Berwick, the journey would be bus-train-bus, which would not compete well with the car (especially with free parking). I do wonder if a direct bus service (with express running in between) might be viable.
  • Caribbean Gardens Business Park (see Rowville discussion)
  • The Coles headquarters(see Rowville discussion)
  • St Kilda Road (see Rowville discussion)

The following Metlink map shows the lack of east-west bus services across the rail line between the residential and employment areas:

A number of people travel long distances to get to work from Berwick, where public transport will struggle to compete with the car, due to low average bus speed as much as anything. I’ll look at average travel distances in another post.

Here are the volumes and public transport mode shares for major destination SLAs:

Destination SLA Journeys PT share
Casey (C) – Berwick 5934 2%
Gr. Dandenong (C) – Dandenong 3650 3%
Gr. Dandenong (C) Bal 2902 2%
Kingston (C) – North 2058 2%
Casey (C) – Hallam 1856 2%
Monash (C) – Waverley West 1367 1%
Monash (C) – South-West 1299 5%
Melbourne (C) – Inner 1232 73%
Cardinia (S) – Pakenham 1028 4%
Casey (C) – Cranbourne 1000 1%
Knox (C) – South 872 0%
Frankston (C) – West 631 1%
Melbourne (C) – Remainder 622 39%

Again, only the CBD shows up with large public transport mode share, although curiously Monash South West is at 5% (almost entirely involving train).

Other SLAs

For interest, I have looked at a few other SLAs around Melbourne. I’ll discuss these briefly in terms of problematic public transport access to employment.

Western

Altona

This map shows some problem areas for public transport access, including:

  • Large parts of the industrial areas within the SLA, which have no service at all. Particularly the Toyota factory on Grieve Parade (okay, it does have bus route 232, but that only runs to/from the Melbourne CBD on a few peak period trips).
  • Victoria University Newport Campus
  • Fishermans Bend industrial area (the bus service review recommended route 232 be re-routed along Lorimer Street to improve connectivity to the main employment area)

Sunshine

Public transport doesn’t provide strong service to:

  • The Laverton North/Derrimut industrial area. A new bus route 417 was introduced into this area recently, but it only provides access from Laverton station in the south.
  • Moonee Ponds has a surprising concentration of destinations, and currently a transfer is required at Highpoint to a tram.
  • Fishermans Bend again shows up, with the only access being via the CBD. The recent relocation of Fishermans Bend bus routes to Southern Cross station will certainly assist these people to use public transport.
  • The Altona North industrial area, particularly the Toyota factory on Grieve Parade.
  • Melbourne Airport.

Maribyrnong

Maribyrnong is quite well connected by public transport to most employment destinations.

However there are some more difficult destinations:

  • Laverton North industrial area (partially connected by bus route 414)
  • Altona industrial area (that has almost no public transport)
  • Fishermans Bend (need to transfer to bus at Southern Cross Station, much less direct than driving)

Melton East

Melton east includes Caroline Springs, Taylors Hill and Hillside. It represents the north-western fringe of contiguous urban Melbourne.

You can see a wide range of work destinations – many a long distance away, suggesting a lack of nearby employment opportunities is an issue.

There are many popular work destinations difficult to reach by public transport, including:

  • Laverton North and Altona industrial areas
  • Melbourne Airport
  • Tullamarine industrial area around Sharps Road (completion of SmartBus route 902 would assist)
  • Somerton industrial area (902 completion would assist, although this is a long distance to travel)

Williamstown

27% of destinations are within the City of Melbourne.

Popular destinations difficult to reach by public transport include:

  • The Altona industrial area
  • Fishermans Bend (which can be reached much more directly by car)

Other SLAs – North

Broadmeadows

Public transport doesn’t provide strong service to:

  • The Tullamarine industrial area around Sharps Road/Airport Drive. The Green orbital SmartBus (902) would close this gap if extended to Werribee as originally planned.
  • The Tullamarine industrial area near the airport along Melrose Drive (served by the infrequent 478/479 bus routes, for which an upgrade was promised in May 2010 following the Bus Service Review, but still not delivered as at July 2011)

The recent extension of SmartBus routes 901 and 902 will have greatly improved public transport access to the Somerton/Campbellfield industrial area, and access to Airport West.

You can see a smattering of dots over the land covered by Melbourne Airport and the adjacent industrial area to the south. Because this is all one destination zone, the employement is diluted across the zone, whereas in reality the employment will be concentrated around the terminals and industrial area.

We know that a lot of Melbourne Airport workers come from nearby suburbs, including Broadmeadows. The recent extension of SmartBus route 901 has significantly improved access to Melbourne Airport from the Broadmeadows area. Although its current bus stop at the airport is unfortunately quite a distance from all the terminals!

Sunbury

Sunbury is a satellite urban area north-west of Melbourne, with most of this SLA being rural land and 21% of Sunbury SLA residents work in Sunbury itself.

Around 9% of commuters worked in and around Melbourne Airport (distributed over a large destination zone in the map, refer discussion in Broadmeadows section above). There are bus services between Sunbury and Melbourne Airport but they operate very infrequently (a service upgrade has been promised).

A significant number also work in the Somerton industrial area, which is not directly connected by public transport – and would be difficult to be connected efficiently.

Craigieburn

The vast majority of residents in this SLA live in the suburbs along the eastern edge of the SLA (including the Greenvale area to the east of the “14” label). The rest of the SLA is mostly rual land, although it includes Melbourne Airport and an adjacent industrial area in Tullamarine.

Work destinations difficult to reach by public transport include:

  • Melbourne Airport
  • Industrial areas in Tullamarine and Airport West
  • Thomastown (although it can be reached via Broadmeadows on SmartBus 902)

Moreland north

This SLA is mostly made up of the suburbs of Glenroy and Hadfield.

The biggest destination is Broadmeadows to the immediate north. Connectivity to the north is limited to the two train lines, and two bus routes (one very infrequent). The northern part of the Somerton industrial area can only be reached by public transport with a transfer between relatively infrequent routes.

Brunswick

A significant proportion of Brunswick residents travelled to the south, including the Melbourne CBD.  There are no significant destinations that are difficult to reach by public transport.

Heidelberg

The only work destination somewhat difficult to reach by public transport is the Carlton/Parkville area, as half of peak period trains do not stop at Victoria Park station, which provides a transfer opportunity to high frequency buses to Carlton.

Other SLAs – eastern and south-eastern

Ringwood

Ringwood has direct public transport links to most destinations, including those along the railway line to the city, and the 742 bus to the Notting Hill area. The Bayswater industrial area and St Kilda Road commercial area are a little more difficult to reach by public transport.

Croydon

A significant destination for Croydon SLA residents is the Bayswater and Bayswater North industrial areas. The lack of a bus service along Colchester Road would make this area difficult to reach by public transport for a number of workers.

A significant number of destinations were along the Lilydale/Ringwood train line, making public tranpsort access relatively easy.

A fair number of people commuted to the Clayton/Notting Hill industrial area, and as it happens, bus route 737 connects Croydon to this area (although travel times would not be short).

Melbourne’s CBD only accounts for 5% of work destinations from Croydon.

Lilydale

There are a number of popular destinations difficult to reach by public transport:

  • Just to the north of the station is an industrial area that is beyond walking distance of public transport (around Beresford Road).
  • Curiously, the southern most part of the suburb of Kilsyth – a rural area (this might actually mostly be the Boral quarry on Cantebury Road, which is connected by bus 679).
  • The Bayswater industrial area.
  • The eastern part of Mount Evenlyn and Wandin North (again, most of this land is rural so the actual employment might be in spot concentrations within the destination zone).

Knox – north east

A significant proportion of workers had destinations in Bayswater/Bayswater North industrial areas, Knox City and around Boronia station. Most popular destinations are actually connected by public transport from significant parts of the SLA.

Knox – North west

There is some degree of public transport connection to most destinations, although parts of Bayswater North are more difficult to reach.

Only 6% of residents in this SLA work in the Melbourne CBD. A tram extension to Knox City would connect some employment destinations along the way, but would not be an effective way to reach the Melbourne CBD by public transport given the distance and slow speed (bus+train would be faster).

Cranbourne

The standout issue for this SLA is Dandenong South. There is only one bus route connecting the SLA with just parts of Dandenong South industrial area. From the distribution of dots it appears that around 1 in 5 Cranbourne commuters travelled to Dandenong South.

The recent bus service review recommended much better east-west connectivity, but this was not done in the late 2010 upgrade to Casey bus services (unfortunately you wont find the detail in the executive summary of the bus service review, you have to order the full report from the Department of Transport).

Access to the Clayton/Mulgrave/Notting Hill and Braeside industrial areas, and St Kilda Road employment area is also problematic, for the same reasons as outlined for Rowville.

 

Unfortunately analysis of census journey to work data was not done in this level of detail in the 2007-2009 Bus Service Reviews across Melbourne. Hopefully my analysis can now provide greater evidence to support public transport planning.

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Where do the employees come from? (Melbourne 2006)

Sat 15 January, 2011

If we want to improve transport options into employment areas, it helps to know where the employees are coming from.The answers are in the gold mine that is census journey to work data.

This post maps where employees come from for major employment destinations around Melbourne, and looks at whether public transport is servicing these areas well. The CBD will be the subject of a separate post.

About the maps

Skip this section at your own peril – there’s some important things to keep in mind:

  • For each employment centre I have generated two or three maps:
    • the number of commuter trips originating in each SLA – ie where do the workers live?
    • the private transport mode share for commuter trips from each SLA. While I often look at public transport mode share, that doesn’t account for walking/cycling for shorter trips, and car trips are really what we need to reduce. Car mode share is only shown for an SLA where there are more than 100 originating trips, Note that given census data never reports values of 1 or 2 (for privacy reasons), we need to be careful about reported car mode shares that are 97%+.
    • for inner city areas only: the number of private transport based trips originating from each SLA (a high car mode share might not be such an issue if there aren’t many car trips being made).
  • I have used an SLA-to-destination zone journey to work dataset from the 2006 census (with thanks to the Victorian Department of Transport).
  • I have defined each employment area as a collection of destination zones, and then looked at the SLA origins for people working in those areas. These employment areas are shown in black shading on the maps.
  • On the maps showing quantities, shading represents relative density while the numbers are absolutes for each SLA. Some SLAs have larger areas and/or populations than others. For outer metro SLAs (which are often only partially urbanised) the density figures will always be low, but the concentration within the urban are might be higher. In an ideal world I would use density of residential areas only, but that takes a fair bit of work and I do this blogging in my own time. So you need to interpret those carefully.
  • The private transport mode share maps use the same colour scale for mode share values (hence some are very green and some very red).
  • As usual, you will need to click to enlarge maps.

Inner City Destinations

South Melbourne employees by SLA:

You can see large sources from the inner southern suburbs, particularly to the east and south.

South Melbourne private transport commuter mode share:

In general only about half commuters come by car, but this includes the nearby inner southern suburbs, despite being directly connected by tram routes. Perhaps the high car mode share reflects relative ease of parking and some awkwardness in getting to all parts of South Melbourne via public transport (for many it would require changing trams at Domain Interchange). A previous post showed that car mode share varied from 35% near Flinders Street Station up to 58% along St Kilda Road, and 67% in the south-west.

Car mode share is 87% from Point Cook/Werribee South (227 commuters) and Rowville (188 commuters), both of which lacked good radial public transport connections (Rowville is now served by a SmartBus direct to Huntingdale Station). Another high car share area is the affluent suburbs in Bayside, particularly south of the Sandringham train line (refer previous post).

South Melbourne employees commuting by private transport, by SLA:

This third picture is interesting:

  • The highest car origin density is still from the inner southern and south-eastern suburbs, on relatively short trips where public transport is generally frequent and direct (although not always fast).
  • There are many cars coming from the inner north and Williamstown, which requires crossing the city or Westgate Bridge.

Perhaps the number of cars coming from the inner south-eastern suburbs could be reduced if it were possible to travel by public transport directly to more parts of South Melbourne? Tram 8 does provide a link from South Yarra station to St Kilda Road (you can then change again to tram 55), but perhaps better access is required to other parts of South Melbourne?

Or perhaps it is more to do with ease of parking arrangements?

I’ve had a look at VISTA 2007 data for the Docklands/Southbank SLA – although the sample is very small so need to treat this with caution!

Only 41% involved self-paid parking of a personal car. Another 21% was free parking of personal cars, while 38% involved employer parking and/or company cars. While this is a very small sample, it suggests ease of parking is quite probably a strong determinant of car mode share. I’ll do a similar analysis for the CBD in an upcoming post where there is a larger sample (n=250).

Parkville employees by SLA:

The major sources for Parkville are the inner northern suburbs, which is not surprising. People tend to work and live on the same side of the city because transport is usually easier. Parkville is not directly served by the rail city loop for those coming from the south.

The proposed metro rail tunnel would connect the Sunbury/Sydenham line (north-western suburbs) to Parkville direct. However, the maps shows that the north-western suburbs are not currently a major source of Parkville employees (there will be students as well of course). This may of course change once the line is open, but it does present a patronage challenge to the project.

The relatively high catchment along the Epping and Hurstbridge lines suggests a more direct link from there to Parkville might have some potential for public transport mode shift. Already there is a high frequency bus service along Johnston Street which connects to Victoria Park Station on these lines. However, only half of peak period trains stop at Victoria Park station at present.

Parkville private transport commuter mode share:

(17/1 – this map has now been corrected since original posting)

A standout is Moonee Valley West at 87%. Not quite sure what is going on there – although most residents would have had to catch a bus, train and tram to get to Parkville by public transport in 2006. Such a trip would still involve two transfers now, but to a more direct and high frequency route 401 bus at North Melbourne station.

Car mode share is also high to the east in Boroondara and Manningham and in the outer western and northern suburbs. Being effectively on the same side of the city would make car commuting relatively easier.

Those coming from the south-eastern suburbs would appear to be largely content with public transport, although wealthier Brighton had a higher car mode share.

Parkville employees commuting by private transport, by SLA:

Car mode share and volume is also relatively high from Moonee Valley. While the 59 tram connects these two areas, it is relatively slow. The recently introduced high frequency 401 shuttle bus from North Melbourne to Parkville may have since increase public transport mode share from Moonee Valley workers in the catchment of the Craigieburn rail line.

There are also quite a few cars making the awkward trip from the St Kilda and South Yarra areas. But otherwise they tend to come from nearby suburbs – many of which are directly connected to Parkville (at least from the north).

Fishermans Bend is perhaps one of the most interesting areas in this analysis. It is on the eastern side of the Yarra River and relatively close to the CBD, but take a look at where the employees come from:

Fishermans Bend employees by SLA:

While the densities are highest from the inner southern suburbs, there are actually large numbers from the western suburbs (this is where low average density SLAs impact the results). There are around 3000 Fishermans Bend employees who live on the western side of the Maribyrnong River.

In fact, here is a similar map, except shaded by total number of employees (rather than density):

Most of them come from the western suburbs. And they come by car…

Fishermans Bend private transport commuter mode share:

No wonder the Westgate Bridge is heavily congested. As shown in the figure below (from a report to the City of Melbourne by Paul Mees citing a 2005 VicRoads survey), 34% of cars on the Westgate Bridge exit at Todd Road (the main Fishermans Bend exit) (for trucks the figure was 31%). That’s a third of the traffic on the Westgate Bridge . We seem to have a signficant public transport gap here!

Current public transport access to Fishermans Bend is primarily by bus from the CBD (routes 235/237/238), although one bus (route 232) runs from a small catchment in North Altona over the Westgate Bridge and along the southern edge of the industrial area (Williamstown Road). Driving over the Westgate Bridge would appear to be a more attractive option than the current train-bus option (here is a map of what such a trip can look like). Perhaps a stronger public transport link from the western suburbs is needed, maybe one that connects with the train network in the west. The current route 232 commences from the site of the now closed Paisley railway station, through which about half of Werribee peak period trains pass.

That said, the major bus service from the CBD have been realigned recently to operate from directly outside Southern Cross Station, and Werribee and Williamstown line trains run direct to Southern Cross in the AM peak. However there are still headway gaps of 20-30 minutes during some parts of the AM peak on these routes. It might be possible to slightly increase the frequency of these routes with existing resources if the routes terminated at Southern Cross station instead of Flinders & Market Streets (although I am sure a minority of existing users would not like this). Travelling via Southern Cross might indeed be the fastest way to reach Fishermans Bend by public transport, unless bus services could get priority over the Westgate Bridge (which is currently congested by single occupant cars).

Fishermans Bend employees commuting by private transport, by SLA:

The cars also come from the inner suburbs, including some density from Port Phillip west and St Kilda (which has a direct although infrequent bus service to Fishermans Bend).

Docklands is a fast growing area directly to the west of the CBD. Because of this growth, patterns may well have changed significantly since 2006.

Docklands employees by SLA:

For an employment area on the western side of the CBD, employees tended to live on the eastern side of the city – which is not what you would expect. But if they are coming via public transport, then trains from most parts of Melbourne provide relatively good access to Southern Cross Station, on the eastern edge of Docklands.

Docklands private transport commuter mode share:

Car mode share is significantly higher from the western suburbs, from which it is easier to drive to Docklands, and using public transport requires an indirect journey via Southern Cross.

However North Melbourne Station is only a short distance from Docklands. When the “E-Gate” site is redeveloped, it seems like a perfect opportunity to link the two with quality public transport (maybe a short tram extension, although we’d need a larger tram fleet). This might significantly increase public transport mode share and take pressure off the city loop railway.

Docklands employees commuting by private transport, by SLA:

The car numbers in 2006 were quite low, so we cannot read too much into them.

Suburban Employment Centres

(For subsequent centres, I will only show two maps, as car mode share is very high in most places)

While not a household name, Notting Hill is a relatively job dense area just north of the Clayton campus of Monash University.

Notting Hill employees by SLA:

You can see many workers live to the west, east and nearby north. But note that the two SLAs to the south (Kingston and Greater Dandenong) have a low average population density, so it is likely that the actual density of employees is higher to the south.

However there are also many employees from the Hallam and Berwick parts of Casey (which show as low density given the SLAs have a low urban density). There are fewer local jobs in Casey, meaning workers need to travel longer distances to work.

I would guess that nearby Clayton and Mulgrave industrial areas would show similar patterns (alas, I haven’t had time to analyse these areas).

Notting Hill private transport commuter mode share:

Notting Hill is full of cars (see the car parks on NearMap for yourself).

In 2006 there was a SmartBus route along Blackburn road (the eastern edge) and the 733 bus ran every 15 minutes in the peak on the western edge. East-west bus routes (693 and 742) run more like every 30 minutes in the peak. (All of the timetables hare hardly changed since 2006).

You can see on the map slightly lower car mode shares from the local area, but also up towards Blackburn (89%) – perhaps reflecting the attraction of the SmartBus service.

The south-eastern suburbs present a challenge: how does public transport service people who live in the suburbs of Casey and work in Notting Hill and surrounds? The current public transport system requires transferring from a low-frequency bus to a train, and then another (slightly more frequent) bus. Two transfers will struggle to compete with the car. Indeed, looking at VISTA 2007 data, it seems only 4.8% of public transport journeys from home to work in Melbourne involve two transfers.

There is a school of through that says bus routes should not be designed to connect everywhere to everywhere with a direct route – because you end up with a complex network of infrequent routes (than you would otherwise have with the same resources). However, if there are clear concentration of origins and destinations, might it make sense to run a direct service between the two?

Would a bus route that performs a collection function in Casey, runs express along the Monash freeway, and then performs a distribution function in Clayton/Notting Hill be viable? It may not need to run at a very high frequency, because transfers are not required. Perhaps the only way to find out is to do a trial (at a not insignificant cost). Such a service might not need operate extended hours, particularly if a guaranteed ride home was provided by employers who can otherwise save on parking costs. It would also still be possible to travel home using other public transport routes in off-peak times.

And now for the other major destination of Casey workers…

Dandenong South employees by SLA:

A majority of Dandenong South employees come from Casey to the east, although there are also quite a few from the Frankston area.

I think the lack of an east-west bus route connecting Casey to South Dandenong is probably one of the largely missing links in the Melbourne’s public transport network. Recent focus in the area has been on upgrading north-south bus routes (901 and 857), which will certainly help the a couple of thousand commuters from those corridors. But the 6000 odd employees from the east gained no better access following the December 2010 local bus upgrade.

Dandenong South private transport commuter mode share:

You can see almost universal car dependence for South Dandenong employees. It only drops to 91% in central Dandenong (sorry that number has been obscured by the shaded areas on the map).

Moonee Ponds employees by SLA:

While not recognised as a central activities district (CAD), Moonee Ponds actually has quite a bit of activity, includes some multi-storey office blocks (something other centres could only hope to achieve). Most workers come from the local area, or the nearby north-west.

Moonee Ponds private transport commuter mode share:

The reason I have included Moonee Ponds is the low car mode share from the Brunswick area (to the east). Perhaps this reflects the high frequency east-west bus routes that feed into Moonee Ponds from Brunswick? That said, the number of employees coming from Brunswick is low. Maribyrnong is connected to Moonee Ponds by one tram and two bus routes, but still 79% of people drive.

Central Activities Districts

The Melbourne @ 5 Million urban plan for Melbourne places greater emphasis on six suburban regional centres, to act like CBDs in the suburbs. I’ve taken a look at a couple of these that are perhaps better served by public transport. My earlier post showed many of these centres already have very low public transport mode shares.

Box Hill employees by SLA:

People working in Box Hill largely come from the local area, but from the north (Manningham west) and towards the east along the Lilydale and Belgrave rail lines. This is good – in theory – for the rail system in that it frees up some capacity on citybound trains in the morning.

But do they use public transport to get there?

Box Hill private transport commuter mode share:

Unfortunately not – car mode share is 85%+ for most of the eastern catchment. It drops to 59% in the Box Hill SLA itself – probably a combination of walking and bus access.

In 2006, 90% of commuters from Manningham west drove. This might have been reduced slightly by the introduction of the 903 SmartBus which runs every 7.5 minutes in the peak (although the previous 291 service was around every 10 mins in the peak). Some local routes connecting Manningham to Box Hill do run frequently in peak periods (eg 279, 286).

Dandenong CAD employees by SLA:

Central Dandenong attracts workers from the local area, particularly to the south and east. No surprises there.

Dandenong CAD private transport commuter mode share:

Car mode share is very high, with slight dips in the central Dandenong SLA (probably a fair amount of walking), the awkwardly U-shaped “Dandenong – remainder” SLA, and slightly lower in Pakenham. Overall Public transport mode share to central Dandenong is most around 4-7% (refer earlier post). It will be interesting to look at 2011 mode share from Frankston and Knox, which are now connected to Dandenong via the 901 SmartBus service.

I have looked at many other employment areas, but for reasons of space and time, I have not included them in this post. Many of those have quite predictable patterns (eg most Footscray employees come from the western suburbs). I’ve attempted to pick out centres with more interesting patterns.

Concluding remarks

I’ve not seen this sort of analysis done elsewhere, and I think it is important evidence to support planning transport systems – particularly public transport.

In the above analysis I’ve identified some “missing links” in Melbourne’s public transport network, including:

  • Casey to South Dandenong
  • Western suburbs to Fishermans Bend (via Westgate Bridge)
  • Casey to Monash industrial area

It might also be worth investigating new links to short-circuit trips to near-CBD locations:

  • North Melbourne station to Docklands
  • South Yarra station to South Melbourne (other than where route 8 runs)
  • More peak trains stopping at Victoria Park station to allow for convenient bus connections to Parkville

But it also looks like ease of car parking is having an impact on public transport mode share. South Melbourne sees many car commuters from nearby suburbs that are well connected by tram. Many areas outside the inner city would offer free employee parking, and driving is likely to be faster than public transport in most cases, particularly where on-road public transport is not insulated from traffic congestion. Unfortunately the census does not include data on who pays for parking and vehicles, so analysis of this issue is limited by the data available.

My next post will focus on the Melbourne CBD, and following that I hope to look at employment destinations of various SLAs (where do the workers go, rather than where they come from).


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?


A spatial analysis of Melbourne 2006 journey to work mode shares

Fri 16 July, 2010

The census journey to work dataset contains a wealth of data, but analysis of this data is rarely published. This post includes 16 maps showing the concentrations of different modes in the journey to work in Melbourne as recorded in the 2006 Census.

About the maps

Before jumping into the maps, I need to state a few things and disclaimers:

  • All of these maps are based on the home Census Collection District of each worker who travelled to work.
  • Many of the maps show Melbourne’s tram, train and high (AM) peak frequency bus networks as of 2006. High frequency buses are those with an average AM peak headway of less than 20 minutes (not including 20 minutes – which makes it a somewhat arbitrary cut-off). There may be minor omissions in the display of the bus network, particularly where several bus routes overlap to provide a high frequency corridor, so use this as a guide only.
  • I’ve filtered out larger sized CCDs on the assumption they are most likely to be non-urban areas. However some smaller non-residential areas are still present in the results (perhaps they shouldn’t be, but I haven’t really got the time to redo all the maps).
  • The colour scales vary for each map and are based on quintiles with rounding. I’ve aimed to highlight variations within each mode, so the same colours will mean different mode shares on different maps.
  • Click to enlarge the maps to see more detail.

Much of the commentary in this post will assume some geographic knowledge of Melbourne, apologies for that. But I have included some links to Google Maps to show you places I am talking about.

High level modal shares

The first map shows the share of journeys work involving public transport (and possibly also private transport and/or bicycle).

You can see:

  • Large areas of high mode share in the inner suburbs. In particular the inner northern suburbs (Brunswick) and inner south-eastern suburbs (St Kilda/Malvern to South Yarra) where there is a dense frequent public transport network in most directions.
  • Some points of relatively high mode share in the middle and outer suburbs around train stations (but not always around train stations).
  • A high mode share in the area around the Monash University Clayton Campus – though note the area north of the campus is largely industrial so this might be misleading.
  • Very low mode share in the outer suburbs in areas away from train stations and high frequency bus routes, indicating high car dependence.
  • Low mode share in the CBD and immediate surrounds (related to a large number of destinations being in walking distance, more on this below).
  • There are some frequent bus routes in the outer suburbs that still have low public transport mode share. These services may be focussed on moving school children, but also many of them do not provide fast direct travel in a radial direction. For example,
    • Route 476 through Keilor has a number of deviations off the main road and then gets caught in congestion on Keilor Road before reaching Essendon Station.
    • Route 477 from Broadmeadows to Essendon via Airport West is highly indirect and also gets caught in congestion before reaching Essendon Station.
    • A couple of the bus routes north of Ringwood Station are quite indirect.
    • Some of the north-south bus routes in East Doncaster are indirect.
    • Route 571, which largely serves Epping to South Morang, has a large one way loop around Centenary Drive making it less direct for some people. Although for many people it is direct. This bus route operates a “TrainLink” service between Epping and Plenty Valley Town Centre – meeting every train at Epping, seven days a week.

The next maps shows mode share of car-only journeys to work.

You can see:

  • Lower car mode shares around train stations and through the inner and middle suburbs where better public transport is available.
  • Very high car mode share in the outer suburbs where public transport service levels are poor.
  • Low car mode share around Monash University Clayton campus, Deakin University Burwood campus, Latrobe University Bundoora, the Simpson Army Barracks in Yallambie (near Greensborough)

The next chart shows people using active transport – that is walking only or any journey involving a bicycle (and possibly other modes).

This map shows:

  • A remarkably circular region around the CBD with high active transport mode share (though it seems to extend a bit further north into Brunswick).
  • Pockets of high mode share around Footscray, Broadmeadows, Box Hill, Ringwood, and Frankston – which have all since been nominated as Central Activities Districts (CADs).
  • Pockets of high mode share around suburban university campuses – suggesting concentrations of staff living within walking distance (note: journey to work is not supposed to include journey to education). The Victorian Police Academy in Glen Waverley also shows up.
  • A few unexpected concentrations:
    • in West Reservoir (between the Upfield and Epping train lines). This is a lower socioeconomic residential area adjacent to (and in some cases mixed in with) a light industrial area, which is something planners have been actively avoiding in recent times. But this historical land use pattern seems to facilitate a high share of people walking to (presumably local) employment.
    • Some pockets around off-rail major shopping centres – eg Highpoint, Werribee Plaza, Altona Gate, Southland, Cranbourne.

Putting together active and public transport, the following chart shows the mode share of “sustainable” transport modes:

Not unexpectedly, it shows high sustainable transport mode share in the inner city – with active transport taking over from public transport as you approach the CBD.

A more detailed look at each mode

Trains

The next map shows the share of journeys to work involving train (and in many cases other modes as well).

Unsurprisingly there are concentrations around train stations, but also:

  • Very low train mode share in the Doncaster/Manningham corridor – where freeway buses operate to the CBD. This suggests few people driving to train stations from this region.
  • A low mode share between the Upfield and Epping train corridors in Brunswick/Northcote – where there are several very frequent tram services that are often competitive with train travel times.
  • Some higher concentrations at the western edge of the north-western suburbs, which were very poorly served by public transport in 2006. This might represent a pocket of park (car) and ride (train) commuters.
  • A concentration stretching west from Newport station more than typical. Perhaps a high number of people catching buses to Newport station? More on that below.

Limiting the analysis to train (and walking) only journeys produces the following map:

While there are concentrations around train stations, there are above 3% shares in areas well beyond reasonable walking distance of stations. While a few people might actually be walking several kms to a station, I’d suggest it is more likely to reflect a tendency for people to fail to report ALL modes used in their journey to work. Perhaps these people have a perception that the “obvious” way to reach a train station is by car and so the car leg was not worth reporting on the census form. An issue for people designing census forms.

Note there is the same concentration we saw on the previous map at the western edge of the north-western suburbs.

These off-rail “train only” concentrations actually correspond with people who report using both car-as-driver and train, as shown on the following map:

Some observations:

  • There are high concentrations in the middle eastern and southern suburbs, including along tram route 75. These areas are just outside fare zone 1, so perhaps they involve people driving to from zone 2 homes to zone 1 stations to take advantage of cheaper fares to the city. But it also might reflect the lower service levels of local buses for reaching the train network.
  • There are many pockets of concentration in the outer western and northern suburbs, particularly on the fringe of the urban area where bus services may not have existed at the time. There have been employment shortages in the western suburbs of Melbourne with a higher share of journeys to the inner city.

What about feeder modes to trains? The next chart shows people using both bus and train:

There are some interesting localised pockets:

  • Newport west shows a high bus-train mode share – routes 432 and 471 operate in this area feeding Newport station (both every 20 minutes in the AM peak). Ironically there used to be a train station at Paisley in the south-west corner of the green pocket but it has been closed for several decades.
  • There are many high frequency bus routes between Sunshine and Footscray and this area shows up quite clearly.
  • East of Essendon station along Buckley Street (route 465) and between Moonee Ponds and Aberfeldie (route 467) there are high concentrations of bus-train commuters. Route 465 is timetabled to meet every train during the day (including the peaks) and route 467 also runs a high frequency in peak periods designed to meet trains. This strategy of high frequency bus feeder services is clearly highly successful at attracting bus-train commuters. (If only there were more such routes in Melbourne!)
  • There are concentrations north (and to some extent south) of Box Hill station. A number of relatively high frequency routes converge in this area.
  • There is an area around Monash University Clayton campus – which probably doesn’t represent people working at that campus as you can’t use a train to travel the short distance.
  • The bus routes north of Ringwood station do appear to facilitate a relatively high number of bus-train commuters, despite some route indirectness (the mode share drops further from Ringwood where commuters endure more of the indirectness).
  • South of Blackburn and Nunawading stations – where SmartBus routes operate to the south of these stations. The high frequency bus service appears to be attracting bus-train commuters.
  • Around Warrigal Road, south of Holmesglen and Oakleigh stations – again probably the impact of the high frequency SmartBus route (then route 700, now 903).
  • Around Doveton (east of Dandenong), where four bus routes each running approximately every 45-50 minutes converge to provide an average 12 minute service for most of the day on a weekday.
  • Curiously around Pakenham, where hourly bus routes operated in 2006 with a limited span of hours.
  • Some pockets west of St Albans station, where there are some places with overlapping bus routes (however they only run every 40 minutes).

The next map shows people using both trains and trams. While there is a smattering of such people across Melbourne (probably reflecting people changing onto trams after arriving in the inner city by train), I have zoomed into the tram network area to look for areas where tram feeds trains.

Some clear corridors are visible:

Note that route 75 does not act as an effective feeder to the Alemein train line – most likely because there is no station conveniently located to allow an easy interchange between these lines (probably a product of historical competition between modes).

Trams

The next map shows journeys involving tram (and possibly other modes). Again, I have zoomed in around the tram network.

There are several interesting things to note:

  • The highest concentrations of tram use are in the northern suburbs (north to Brunswick area particularly), east to Richmond, and south to Port Melbourne, South Melbourne, Albert Park and St Kilda.
  • A more moderate tram mode share is achieved in the inner south-eastern suburbs, likely due to the area also being well serviced by trains.
  • The outer reaches of the tram network are generally not very effective at attracting a high tram mode share – particularly tram 86 to Bundoora, tram 75 to Vermont South, and tram 64 to East Brighton. These outer reaches provide long travel times to the jobs-rich inner city. This evidence does not support the case for outward extensions of the tram network. That said, tram 86 serves two universities in Bundoora and tram 75 serves Deakin University Burwood campus, so the trams probably attract a fair share of journeys to education. Unfortunately the census does not include journey to education.

The next map shows journeys to work involving tram (and walking) only:

This map is very similar, except that there is a low tram-only mode share where tram lines cross train lines before reaching the city centre. Refer to the map above on train + tram journeys.

Buses

The next map shows journeys to work involving buses (and possibly other modes):

This map shows several bus hot spots in Melbourne:

  • The Sunshine-Footscray corridor which is served by several high frequency bus routes, and much of which is beyond walking distance of train stations.
  • The Doncaster/Manningham area, which is served by several high (peak) frequency bus routes that run along the Eastern Freeway into the city (using bus lanes to get around congestion).
  • North Altona along Millers Road. Bus route 232 runs every 10 minutes (or better) in peak periods across the Westgate Bridge into the city.
  • A pocket around Monash University Clayton campus, which is only served by buses (however note much of the green area is industrial land so this may be misleading).
  • Around Oriel Road in Heidelberg West where there is a (combined route) high frequency bus service to the city and Latrobe University Bundoora.
  • Some patches around central Dandenong, where some bus routes overlap to provide a higher frequency combined service.

For completeness, the following map shows bus (and walking) only journeys:

Cycling

The following map shows the concentrations of journeys to work involving bicycle. I’ve zoomed in on the inner city as most of the rest of the Melbourne has very low bicycle mode share.

There is a very strong concentration in the inner northern suburbs – in the City of Yarra and the southern part of the City of Moreland (Brunswick). This area is very well served by high quality on road bicycle facilities. In many areas, over 1 in 10 journeys to work involve cycling.

Walking only

The next map shows concentrations of walking-only journeys to work:

Again, the inner city area has a high concentration, but there are also concentrations around major education campuses and larger activity centres in the suburbs.

Car passenger

The next map shows the mode share of “car as passenger” as part of the journey to work. This effectively shows a combination of car pooling and lift-giving trips.

The highest concentrations are in the outer suburbs (particularly in newer areas), where public transport service levels are lowest, but also many areas with lower incomes. I’d suggest it is likely that car passenger trips are a product of lower incomes (lower car ownership?) and/or poor public transport provision where lift giving is required. A pure lift giving trip is highly time inefficient for the driver, and the vehicle travels twice the distance that the passenger needs to travel – roughly doubling the congestion and environmental impacts. However, the car passenger trips might be partial car pooling – eg a driver drops a passenger at a train station on the way to work, which is relatively efficient.

I hope these maps are useful.