Here's how people in each Canberra suburb commute to work
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Here's how people in each Canberra suburb commute to work

Next time you're stuck in traffic, seemingly at a standstill on the Monaro Highway, Tuggeranong Parkway, Gungahlin Drive or one of the city's other peak-hour car parks, take a moment.

Stop, breathe and think of how much worse it could be.

Civic sees the most commuters in Canberra compared to any other suburb.

Civic sees the most commuters in Canberra compared to any other suburb.Credit:Melissa Adams

Canberrans, according to the latest Census figures, have the shortest commute to work of all the nation's capital cities.

Here, it's just 11.75 kilometres to work, on average, compared with just over 15 kilometres for people living in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

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That's largely because we live in a smaller city, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics' Phillip Wise. Those living outside the capitals have it even worse.

The data also allow us to break down even further into Canberrans' commute, looking at where people travel to and from each suburb - and how they travel.

You can use the interactive graphic below to look at how Canberrans get to work, and where they go. Choose motor vehicle, public transport or active transport (that's walking or cycling), and then choose a suburb to see where people commute to using that form of transport.

In Canberra, it probably won't surprise you to hear, the car remains king. About 7 per cent of us catch the bus, and 8 per cent walk or ride a bike. About 75 per cent drive.

Despite its reputation, Canberra isn't that much more car-dependent than the rest of the country; 69 per cent of Australians drive to work and Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Hobart and Darwin all have a higher proportion of commuters behind the wheel. Canberra has the third lowest rate of public transport of the nation's capital cities, and the highest rate of "active transport".

The data reveal a few other quirks: men generally travel a bit further than women to get to work, for example.

They also reveal which suburbs are the major hubs for Canberra commuters. Civic comes out on top. More than 34,000 commuters travel to the suburb.

Workers in Civic largely come from inner north suburbs such as Braddon, Turner and Watson.

The more than 11,500 people who commute to Barton are largely made up of residents from the inner south. Kingston is the largest contributor with 471 commuters, and Gungahlin suburbs were also well represented.

Data show people travelling to Belconnen for work generally don't stray too far from home; six of the top 10 suburbs in terms of commuter numbers are from the Belconnen area.

A similar trend can be seen in Greenway. All the top 10 list is made up of Tuggeranong suburbs and more than 10,000 commute into the area for work.

While the industrial hub of Mitchell has a majority of its commuters coming from the Gungahlin area, the suburb also has a large portion of its workers travelling from Yass and its surrounding areas.

The census data also find residents living near the first stage of the light rail route are more likely to commute to Civic or other areas around Gungahlin and the inner north than other parts of Canberra. With the exception of Civic itself, residents in every suburb along the first stage — which runs from Gungahlin to Civic — rail had more commuters travel to Canberra's centre than anywhere else.

Regardless of suburb location along the route, about 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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