It seems that the population growth in major Australian cities has not impacted congestion. According to data collated over five years, between 2011 to 2016, the population in Sydney and Melbourne both grew by 1.9% to 2.3% a year, and the populations of Brisbane, the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast, Canberra, and Darwin follow not far behind.
Yet these population growth figures are benign when considering the impact that is felt along the transportation lines. This is partially due to the way employment is spread around the cities, with a low percentage situated in the suburbs and a large percentage spread evenly along city maps, with most of the workers concentrating in retail, offices, schools, clinics and construction sites. There are some peaks, such as a 2,3% of all of Sydney’s jobs is found Parramatta or 1.7% of all of Melbournes jobs located at Monash University and medical centre in Clayton.
Yet, with these figures and facts, there is still one resounding anomaly, commutes are not getting worse. This perhaps due to how people adapt to changing routes, finding alternative ways to commute. As well as how government invests in public transport lines and of course the introduction of ride sharing.
There is, however, concern for complacency, and as such, there are a few things that governments can do to assure that future commuting will not spiral out of control as the population grows. These solutions include two options:
- Phase out Stamp Duty, the same way ACT did. This will unlock people and enable them to migrate.
- Introduced congestion charges to reduce the number of unnecessary drivers during peak hours,
These are just two solutions that will help in checking congestion from population growth.