Powered-two-wheelers for city commuting: Insight from Australia's three largest capital cities

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The journey to work receives a great deal of research attention due to the peak demand on the transport system. Cities are increasingly concerned with managing traffic congestion and reducing pollution and most of the focus of this research has been on cars, public transport, walking and cycling. In contrast, the role of powered two-wheelers (PTWs), including motorcycles and scooters, in commuting has received little attention, particularly in the context of cities in the developed world. This paper provides new insight into commuting by PTW by drawing on census journey to work data from Australia's three largest cities (Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane) combined with an intercept survey of PTW commuters in Melbourne. It explores the extent of, and changes in, PTW commuting as well as the demographics of PTW commuters. While PTWs account for only a small percentage of urban commuting in Australian cities, their use is growing rapidly and there is a concentration of commuting by PTW into city centres. PTW commuters tend to be high-income males in skilled professional and technical professions. The implication of these findings for transport policy are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325-335
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Transport Geography
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2016


  • Powered-two-wheelers
  • Commuting
  • Motorcucles

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