Commuters next to light rail route more likely to travel to Civic
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Commuters next to light rail route more likely to travel to Civic

Most Canberrans who live in suburbs next to the future light rail are commuting to work to suburbs along the route, new data shows.

Commuter data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics gathered as part of the 2016 census revealed residents living near the route are more likely to commute to Civic or other areas around Gungahlin and the inner north than other parts of Canberra.

Most people living in suburbs next to the light rail are already commuting along the route.

Most people living in suburbs next to the light rail are already commuting along the route.Credit:Sitthixay Ditthavong

With the exception of Civic itself, residents in every suburb along the light right rail had more commuters travel to Canberra's centre than anywhere else.

The data was based on commuter habits on August 9, 2016, one month after construction first started on the transport project.

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Commuters in suburbs around Gungahlin were in some instances up to six times as likely to travel to Civic to work compared to other major centres in the capital.

Out of the 4250 residents who commuted from their home in Harrison, 710 made the journey to Civic, compared to 246 who travelled to Belconnen.

Among the other most frequent destinations for Harrison commuters were Gungahlin, 193 commuters, and Mitchell, 143 commuters, which are both on the light rail route.

While no data was available for Mitchell residents, around one in six Gungahlin commuters travel to work in Civic, with just under 500 people making the journey.

A similar situation plays out in nearby Franklin, with 672 of its 3644 commuters making the trip to the centre of Canberra, while Gungahlin and Mitchell are also on the list on the most common commuter destinations.

In the inner north, however, data shows residents are not as likely to commute to suburbs around Gungahlin, but commute to other inner north suburbs along the light rail route.

Downer's 1832 commuters had 381 travel to Civic for work, while 98 of them travelled to Dickson and 59 to Braddon.

The light rail is expected to be open to commuters by the end of the year.

The light rail is expected to be open to commuters by the end of the year.Credit:Rohan Thomson

It was a similar situation in Lyneham, with commuters to Civic making up one in five of all commuters, while Braddon and Dickson were also high up on the list of destinations.

Braddon and Turner had the highest proportion of its commuters travel to Civic for work, with just under 30 per cent of people in Turner going into the city centre for work out of its 2319 commuters.

Meanwhile, almost one third of all Braddon's 3421 made the trip to Civic.

In Civic, however, only one suburb on the light rail route made the top 10 destinations for its 1967 commuters, with 48 of them moving one suburb over to Braddon.

Civic residents were more likely to move into other centres around Canberra such as Acton, Belconnen and Barton.

Commuters in Gungahlin suburbs were more likely to drive to work than those in the inner north,  with 76 per cent Harrison residents driving compared to 69 per cent in Watson, 60 per cent in Lyneham and 44 per cent in Braddon.

Regardless of suburb location along the route, around one in 10 commuters used public transport to get to work.

Andrew Brown is a journalist at the Sunday Canberra Times. Andrew has worked at the Canberra Times since 2016.

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