Updated: Dec 8, 2020
Australians have a love-hate relationship with public transport. With its vast landscape pockmarked by cities, it’s easy to guess where the love and hate may lie. Australia’s urban areas generally enjoy a fully-fledged and extensive public transport system. So, of the 12 million Australians aged 14+ (58%) that use public transport, it’s safe to say most of them reside in cities. This urban-rural divide is noted on a global scale.
Australia’s public transport use in comparison to other countries
However, even within its major public transport usage cities such as Sydney, Melbourne, or Brisbane – Australia’s public transport user numbers fall behind. A quick analysis of the public transport leaders' infrastructures and histories can make sense of this divide. Consider Russia, where an estimated 78% of the population use public transport every day. It could be argued that this is tied to societal norms considering Russia’s well-known love for all things rail and convenient. However, regional governments also invest heavily in transport infrastructure and insist on prices being kept low.
This public transport-positive mindset has slowly been creeping into Australia’s public transport hotspot – Sydney. Unlike the US, where broad motorways dominate transport routes, Sydney’s city plan follows a more European model.