More than one third of Australian workers avoid public transport due to cost and quality.
A new international workplace survey has found that more than a third of Australian workers use a private motor vehicle rather than public transport to travel to work, and many cite quality of service and cost as the main reasons they avoid public transport.
The survey by global recruitment agency, Kelly Services, found that 64% of Australian workers use public transport to travel to and from work while 36% use it only rarely or not at all.
Australia's use of public transport was not high by international standards, ranking 15th out of 28 countries in the survey.
This is despite that fact that 73% of respondents said that they have the choice of using public transport.
The ACT had a accessible public transport in Australia with 89% of respondents saying they had the choice of using public transport to get to work. This was followed by NSW (79%), Western Australia (77%), Victoria (75%), South Australia (72%) and Queensland (63%).
When it comes to actually using public transport, by far the high patronage was in NSW, with 79% using public transport rather than a motor vehicle. This was followed by Western Australia (68%), Victoria (61%), Queensland (59%), South Australia (56%) and the ACT (48%).
When asked what single factor would encourage the use of public transport, the main issue was more convenient access to services, nominated by 30% of respondents. Other factors were more frequent services, cited by 25%, and lower prices (22%). Concern over the price of public transport was pronounced in Victoria and NSW.
Other issues such as improved comfort and better safety or security ranked relatively low in importance.
The Kelly Services Global Workforce Index sought the views of approximately 70,000 people in 28 countries including almost 2,000 in Australia.
Globally, the big users of public transport were in Asia with 93% of Indonesians using public transport, followed by Hong Kong (88%) and Singapore (86%).
The low users were Turkey (29%), the United States (34%) and Puerto Rico (36%).
According to Kelly Services, Public transport is vital in enabling people to find work and stay employed.
Where private transport is not available, public transport is often the only option.
According to Kelly Services, access to reliable, safe and cost-effective public transport has a bearing on the way people feel about their jobs, on the levels of stress in the workplace and on their capacity to meet family responsibilities.
According to Kelly Services, the provision of public transport also makes an important contribution to economic growth because it allows people to respond to fluctuating economic conditions and employment trends.
In a dynamic employment market, many people will want to take advantage of opportunities in particular geographic areas as well as respond to the need for part time, casual work or shift work.
The availability of a good public transport system makes it much easier to respond quickly to changing job requirements and for employers to get staff where and when they are needed.
According to Kelly Services, many people are perfectly happy to use public transport rather than drive a private motor vehicle but if the system is inaccessible or too costly, they are left with little choice.
Issues associated with motor vehicle use include congested roads and environmental concerns including, noise, air pollution and greenhouse emissions.
Motor vehicles are the major source of common air pollutants in many urban areas. They also inhibit pedestrian movement in major cities and contribute to gridlock in commercial centres.