This information sheet analyses the trends in passenger transport in Australia's eight capital cities over the period 1977 to 2008. Although car travel continues to dominate travel in our cities, urban public transport has accounted for much of the growth in travel from 2004 to 2008.
There are large differences between cities. Sydney and Melbourne have similar private vehicle travel levels, but Sydney has higher urban public transport passenger-kilometres travelled, due in part to the longer rail distances per passenger on the Sydney rail system. Next in size, Perth and Brisbane have similar overall motorised passenger travel, with Brisbane having more rail travel and less light vehicle travel. Adelaide has less travel than Perth and Brisbane, but still has three times that of the next city, Canberra. Hobart and Darwin have the smallest travel levels, with only bus systems for urban public transport.