Does the Australian Bureau of Statistics method of travel to work data accurately estimate commuter cycling in Australia?
Submission Date: 2019
The Australian Census of Population and Housing includes a responder’s Method of Travel to Work for Persons (MTWP) on Census Day. With some exceptions, responders can select multiple modes of transport. In Australia and overseas, this data is used to estimate mode share and the proportion of Australians who utilize various active transport modes. This is especially true for cycling as there are scant data sources for Australian cycling exposure. In this study, we will discuss the often not advertised limitations of this data and provide examples of when it has been misused. When some of these issues are addressed, the MTWP data indicates an inconsistent trend in bicycle travel both by overall count and mode share.