Resident workers - Method of travel to work - All industries

Within Cairns, there is a lower proportion of resident All industries workers using public transport to get to work than the Queensland workforce.

Maximising access to employment is a key objective in any economic development strategy. Understanding the modes of transport Cairns's local resident workers use (either within or outside the local area), informs decision-makers about the effectiveness of transport modes, routes and availability of local public transport.

There are a number of reasons why people use different Modes of Transport to get to work including:

  • The availability of affordable and effective public transport options between place of residence and place of work;
  • The number of motor vehicles available within a household; and
  • The travel distance to work, which for example, can allow people to walk or bicycle to their place of employment.

Method of Travel to Work data should be viewed in conjunction with resident place of work for a clearer picture of where working residents are employed.

Data source

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) – Census 2016 & 2021 – by place of work

Select industry:
Current benchmark:
Resident workers method of travel to work
Main method of travelNumber%. Queensland%Number%. Queensland%2016 - 2021
Car, as driver46,71458.760.049,45968.364.1-2,745
Car, as passenger4,0165.04.54,4236.15.3-407
Motorbike/Motor scooter5030.60.76750.90.9-172
Other - multiple methods8151.00.61,4562.01.5-641
Walked only1,9892.52.62,4023.33.3-413
Worked at home9,37511.814.12,8103.95.3+6,565
Did not go to work13,05216.411.16,7689.39.7+6,284
Not stated3930.50.57161.00.9-323
Total 79,640100.0100.072,426100.0100.0+7,214

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing 2016 and 2021. Compiled and presented by .id (informed decisions)

Please refer to specific data notes for more information
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Dominant groups

In 2021, there were 1,076 resident workers who caught public transport to work (train, bus, tram or ferry) in Cairns, compared with 51,691 who drove in private vehicles (car – as driver, car – as passenger, motorbike, or truck).

Analysis of the method of travel to work of the resident workers in Cairns shows that 1.4% used public transport, while 64.9% used a private vehicle, compared with 3.9% and 66.0% respectively in Queensland.

The major differences between the method of travel to work of the resident workers in Cairns and the Queensland workforce were:

  • A larger percentage of resident workers who did not go to work (16.4% compared to 11.1%)
  • A smaller percentage of resident workers who worked at home (11.8% compared to 14.1%)
  • A smaller percentage of resident workers who travelled by train (0.0% compared to 1.8%)
  • A smaller percentage of resident workers who travelled by car, as driver (58.7% compared to 60.0%)

Emerging groups

The largest changes in the method of travel to work of the resident workers in Cairns between 2016 and 2021 were:

  • Worked at home (+6,565 resident workers)
  • Did not go to work (+6,284 resident workers)
  • Car, as driver (-2,745 resident workers)
  • Other - multiple methods (-641 resident workers)

Cairns Regional Council

economic profile