2023 commuter counts - Tuesday 7 March
Count numbers have recovered somewhat since the 2022 counts (when it rained) but are not back to pre-COVID levels. It is likely that we won’t see significant changes in future counts due to increased number of people working from home (according to ABS data the proportion has more than doubled since pre-COVID) and while the incomplete cycling network remains unchanged. Proposed separated cycleways in the Hobart CBD will be monitored for their impact as part of future counts.
The map shows where numbers increased since 2022 (green arrows), decreased (red arrows) and new sites counted (orange arrows). Riders have shifted from crossing the Brooker Hwy at the Railway Roundabout at Liverpool St to the Rose Garden Bridge at Bathurst St.
2022 commuter counts - Tuesday 1 march
Wet weather and rain during the count period saw count numbers down across all count sites in Greater Hobart in 2022. The rain throughout the night would have discouraged people from riding even though it stopped shortly after 7am with only light drizzle. Changes in work patterns since COVID is also likely to have an impact, with some workers having the option of working from home or flexible hours, no longer commuting between 7am and 9am.
E-scooters were counted at some of the sites this year. Most were recorded at sites close to the Hobart CBD with few recorded further out at Lower Sandy Bay or New Town. The numbers indicated that people are using them for shorter journeys to work, with the majority privately owned.
The South Hobart corridor carries the highest volume of commuter cyclists. It suffered less reduction in numbers compared to the North Hobart and Sandy Bay corridors. It also carries the highest percentage of women, making up around one third of riders.
2021 commuter counts - thursday 4th march
Due to poor and windy weather conditions on Tuesday 2 March the count was postponed by two days. As expected, commuter cycling numbers are down which is consistent with data from across Australia, which is attributed to more people working from home due to COVID.
It is interesting to see the impact of new infrastructure such as the Rose Garden Bridge across the Brooker Highway, which has attracted more riders into the city via Bathurst St instead of the Railway roundabout underpass. The UTAS buildings in the city (Menzies, Hedberg) appear to be attracting more riders onto Campbell St.
The National Cycling Participation Survey data has been included in the counts report, which shows an overall increase in cycling participation in Tasmania (likely attributed to COVID, increased bicycle sales and recreational cycling).
The full counts summary can be downloaded at the bottom of the page.
2020 commuter counts - Tuesday 3 March 2020
Counts were carried out at 55 intersections across Greater Hobart. The counts occurred before the COVID-19 interventions were adopted so data was collected under similar conditions to previous years. The weather was fine, with some clouds and low winds. 12 degrees from 7-8am then gradually warmed to 15 degrees by 9am. 0% chance of rain forecast.
Counts are carried out on all the main access routes into the Hobart CBD. The main entry points from the North West (Murray St, Elizabeth St and Campbell St) have all shown a slight increase in ridership.
The Intercity Cycleway is a main feeder route into the city and the busiest cycling route. 37% of inbound riders on the cycleway come from the eastern shore (Tasman Bridge), with the remaining 63% coming from New Town and beyond.
The waterfront had 214 riders counted at PW1, a 23% increase over the past 5 years.
The Hobart Rivulet Track at Collins St intersection has a 16% increase since 2018 whilst the numbers using Macquarie St has remained steady for the past 4 years.
Macquarie Point opened the pathway through the site in 2019 and counts carried out show that 41% of riders have moved off the Davey St path to the Mac Point path to avoid the unfavourable traffic signals at Evans St or to take a more direct route around the waterfront. This is an increase on the 27% who used the Mac Point path in 2019.
A full summary of the counts data can be viewed at the link at the bottom of the page. Click here.
2019 commuter counts - tuesday 5 March 2019
The data is currently being analysed but the link to the raw data is at the bottom of this page. At a glance, the number of people riding to work has flatlined. Increased traffic congestion, lack of dedicated cycling space separated from motor vehicles, and incomplete cycling routes with stressful gaps don't make cycling to work appealing or attractive except for enthused and confident riders.
Just over 300 people use the Intercity Cycleway in the morning peak, with over a third coming to/from the Tasman Bridge and Eastern Shore.
Intercity Cycleway counts at Tasman Bridge intersection
There is an increase in the number of people commuting on the cycleway at Berriedale, which may be MONA staff, but generally numbers on counted routes have not changed much since 2011. On-road routes with no cycling infrastructure have seen a decline in people riding, with significant drops at Springfield/Main Rd, Bowden/Tolosa and Main Rd/Chapel intersections.
Taroona - Channel Hwy/Taroona Primary – 92 riders counted. Steady and consistent with previous years and emphasises the importance of getting the Taroona bike lanes improved.
Kingston - Beach Rd/Channel Hwy intersection - 57% increase in the number of riders going over Bonnet Hill between 7am and 9am from 21 in 2018 to 33 in 2019. The counter noted that a number of riders were seen before 7am so were not included in the counts.
Overall, commuting numbers are down in Clarence. The Rosny Park count site is steady but there are declines on all other routes, including the Clarence Foreshore Trail. Clarence St is still more popular than the Clarence Foreshore Trail for morning commuters. Riders from the eastern shore using the Tasman Bridge have also declined.
2016 commuter counts - tuesday March 2016
The graph shows a snapshot of usage on the Intercity Cycleway during a 2-hour period from 7am to 9am. Increased usage was also recorded on the Hobart Rivulet Track and Clarence Foreshore Trail.
2015 commuter counts - tuesday 3 March 2015
- 304 people were counted on the Intercity Cycleway at the Tasman Bridge, coincidentally the same as last year. However there was an increase in people coming from the Tasman Bridge and a slight drop in people exclusively using the cycleway. This is consistent with an increase in riders counted on the eastern shore at the Tasman Bridge.
- Routes near UTAS experienced a slight drop in numbers. Morrison St had a slight drop in numbers but is still one of the busiest cycling routes in Hobart. 158 people were counted compared with 174 in 2014. Sandy Bay Road at Marieville Esplande also had a slight drop while Grosvener St at Alexander St had a slight increase.
- There was a slight increase of riders counted at Taroona primary school with 94 riders counted compared to 83 in 2014.
- There was a slight drop in riders on both the South Hobart Rivulet Track and Macquarie St running parallel.
2014 commuter counts -Tuesday 18 March 2014
Preliminary data from the Counts over a 2 hour period from 7am to 9am on Tuesday 18 March 2014
- 304 people were counted on the Intercity Cycleway at the Tasman Bridge between 7am and 9am, a rider on average every 25 seconds.
- 174 people counted on Morrison St at Murray St where there is no dedicated space for riding.
- The Menzies Research Centre has generated increased cycling activity with 93 riders counted at the intersection of Campbell and Liverpool St despite the Campbell St bike lanes finishing three blocks earlier at Brisbane St.
- Sandy Bay Road at Marieville Esplanade had 140 people on bikes counted, dropping to 128 riders further along Sandy Bay Road at Hampton Road intersection in Battery Point .Most of those counted would benefit from a Battery Point walkway to avoid the busy section of Sandy Bay Road through the shops.
- 171 people were counted riding into the city from South Hobart. 97 people ride down Macquarie St while 74 were counted entering Collins St from the Hobart Rivulet Track.
- 97 people were counted riding to work on New Town Road at Augusta Rd, up from 72 riders counted the previous year.
- 123 people were counted riding from North Hobart along Murray St, Elizabeth St and Campbell St.
- 70 riders were counted along the Esplanade in Lindisfarne, up from 48 riders the previous year. This increase is attributed to a newly constructed section of the Clarence Foreshore Trail which is still incomplete. 9 of the riders were children going to school, some accompanied by parents. Last year no children were counted.
- 83 bike riders were counted on the Channel Highway in Taroona, reinforcing census data that indicates Taroona has the highest percentage of residents who ride to work in Hobart.
2013 hobart Counts - Tuesday 12 March 2013
- dedicated bicycle infrastructure is strongly preferred to roads with no such infrastructure, and that such facilities increase bicycle use.
- recreational bicycle paths are typically only used by commuters where tey meet criteria of directness, ease of riding, etc. Commuters will prefer the road sytem if that provides faster riding.
2012 Hobart Counts
2011 Hobart counts
Cold, wet, windy and snowy weather greeted counters for Super Tuesday 2011. Despite the awful weather, people were still counted riding their bikes to work.
2010 Hobart counts
The counts were recorded during the morning peak from 7am to 9am at 50 sites across the four participating council areas - Hobart, Clarence, Glenorchy and Kingborough Councils. The counts provide an important snapshot of commuter cycling movements at a time when Hobart has very limited infrastructure for cycling. They show that despite the lack of bike lanes and paths people are using their bicycles to get to work. Just imagine how may more people could be riding if they were provided with comfortable and convenient cycling routes to get there.
At the busiest location on the Intercity Cycleway at the Hobart end 299 cycle commuters were counted between 7am and 9am. That’s almost 300 less cars coming into the city in the morning and competing for parking spots, and that’s just on a single cycling route. A permanent bicycle counter installed by Hobart City Council prior to Christmas on the Intercity Cycleway has been recording a peak weekday of 1100 cyclists per day, with the average around 900 per day since the installation.
On the narrow and wind-exposed footpath over the Tasman Bridge, on average 1 rider a minute crossed the bridge between 7am and 9am. That’s the equivalent of 120 less cars or 3 less buses driving over the bridge in the morning peak. Even at sites over 10km from the CBD cycle commuters were evident. In the morning peak 54 riders an hour were counted on the Intercity cycleway at Glenorchy.
The counts also give us an insight into cycling patterns. For example almost twice as many riders use Clarence St in Bellerive than the foreshore trail which runs parallel, which indicates that fast and direct routes are just as important to commuters on bikes as they are for drivers.
Cycling numbers were higher on routes where bike lanes or cycleways have been provided. This shows we need to start providing infrastructure in areas where it is lacking. The Hobart Regional Arterial Bicycle Network Plan provides us with a blueprint for developing a cycling network but it will take time and resources to build it.
With the State Government Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources recently releasing their Walking and Cycling for Active Transport Strategy and their Urban Passenger Transport Framework, it is clear now that Governments of all persuasions have realised that providing facilities for individuals to walk, bicycle, use public transport or even park and ride is the way of the future.
Collecting data through initiatives such as the Super Tuesday bicycle counts helps to address the urban myth that no one rides bicycles in Hobart.
You will need Google Earth on your computer in order to view data.