Surprise! Sydney Is The Most Expensive City For Transport, Too

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Sydneysiders are used to the ridiculousness that is their housing market - and now there's another cost to sob into their smashed avo about.

The Australian Automobile Association's Transport Affordability Index for the September 2017 quarter is out today. And the's not good.

Turns out Australian metropolitan households are spending 14.1 per cent of their annual income on transport - up from 13.4 per cent in the previous quarter. AAA CEO Michael Bradley said city-based households were paying an average of $17,485 per annum - an increase of $191 since the previous index, when factors such as car registration, CTP insurance, public transport, tolls and maintenance were tallied.

"The quarterly index provides a snapshot of prices in cities and regional areas to assist policy makers, media and members of the public understand the financial pressures faced by Australian households in relation to land transport costs," he said.

"The increases we have seen over the quarter are largely attributable to increases in government fees and charges. It really highlights that transport is a significant and unavoidable cost to households and needs to be considered by all levels of government when formulating policies."

Costs varied significantly between capital cities and regional areas, with results showing that though Sydney remained the most expensive city on price alone – Brisbane was ranked the most expensive city for the cost of transport as a percentage of household income.

The report drew on many information sources including the 2016 census and the recently released ABS Household Expenditure and Income and Wealth surveys.

Here's the main takeaways of the report:

  • Sydney households spend the highest amount on transport in the nation at $22,350 per annum. However, when average incomes were considered, Sydney moved to third place.
  • Melbourne was the second most expensive city for transport in dollar terms – with families paying $18,716 per annum - but ranked fourth when incomes were taken into consideration.
  • Regional Australians were paying a national average of $13,883 – accounting for 12.2 per cent of household income.
  • Hobart was the second most expensive city for transport costs – as a percentage of household income – closely behind Brisbane. Families in the Tasmanian city could expect to pay 16.12 percent of their incomes to transport costs.
  • Of the regional centres included in the index, Geelong households paid the most at $14,839 per annum. However, it ranked fifth in terms of a share of income – spending 12.12 per cent of household income on transport.
  • Townsville households paid the least of regional centres included in the index, with costs sitting at $12,865 per annum.
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    As someone who has to spend 3 hrs a day on trains to travel 70km each way, I couldn't agree more, we really need a high speed rail network, I would love to see an interstate one linking State capitals, and also ones more local serving Sydney, one from the Blue Mountains to Sydney Central, one from the illawarra to central, and one from Newcastle to central, that would accelerate growth in all these regions where housing is more affordable, which in turn would take the pressure off the housing issues and overpricing of Sydney.

      It's just such a pity that any infrastructure built by State or Federal government to 'fix' the problem, would be taxed and tolled into the clouds anyway.

      As commuters, we're seen as an infinite source of revenue.

      The drive from the Illawarra to Sydney makes me hate Sydney. Simply due to the experience of sitting stationary on oversaturated roads on most trips. The terrible road experience is the first thing I think of when someone mentions the word "Sydney".

    While ring roads are kinda happening between M4-M5-M7 and M2, where is our much needed high speed rail?

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