Why Hobart commuters are not happy


Commuters may feel aggrieved that Sydney and Melbourne residents view Hobart as some kind of haven from the mainland. This is because Hobart’s peak hour commuting time is very long and ranks third in Australia after the big two. Not only that, it’s the second most expensive city, as a share of income, for weekly travel by car and public transport.

Slow crawl

It’s a slow crawl for morning commuters in the Tasmanian capital. They take 56% longer than for the same trip made outside peak times. Only Sydney is worse at 67% and its population is over 5 million, compared to Hobart’s 220,000. Unfortunately, 79% of cars drive into the CBD during the morning peak and 76% of them crawl back home in the afternoon peak.

A study in 2016 blamed the combination of tourism, roadworks and encouragement to park long term in the city. Others are convinced it is just overall bad planning. One enterprising ferry company suggested it could build a network of 16 ferries, as long as state and local governments pay for the terminals and other infrastructure.

Cost of transport

Long commuting may be rather expensive too. According to the AAA’s transport affordability index for December 2017, Hobart is the second priciest city (after Brisbane) for getting around. It swallows up 16.1% of average income because Hobart has the lowest average earnings of all capitals in Australia.

Hobart is also the most expensive city for buying petrol and diesel. The AAA says, if Hobart households paid Adelaide prices, they would save $4.75 a week.

Considering transport costs as a share of income, Launceston in north Tasmania is the most expensive regional city in Australia. It also has the dubious feature of having the lowest average earnings of any Australian city or region.

The good news is Hobart is still the cheapest city for CTP, registration and drivers licences. It is also fairly affordable for servicing and tyres, insurance and for taking public transport. To find out more about CTP in Tasmania, go here.