7 Jun 2022

Transport impacts our everyday life. We rely on transport to get to work, school, appointments and social gatherings – so well-informed transport investment is imperative for our current and future well-being.

Recently the City of Melbourne implemented transport and economic measures to support Covid-19 recovery by prioritising popup bicycle lanes, and improved public transport over private cars and parking. We were provided the opportunity to report on an economic piece that examined how transport is supporting City Recovery after COVID-19.

Key facts include:

  • City private vehicle trips are approximately 94% of pre-COVID levels and are expected to decline to 62% by 2026
  • Bike and e-scooter rides are 70% of pre-COVID levels in the AM peak but will recover and grow to supprt $3.5B in economic activity by 2026
  • In April 2022, rides along upgraded bike lanes on Peel and Swanston Streets were at 156% and 113% of pre-COVID levels respectively. Queens Bridge Street was at 186%.
  • Opening of Metro Tunnel and tram upgrades forecast a 3.5% shift towards public transport
  • Bicycle and scooter riders are anticipated to increase to 7% of all transport modes if the IMAP bicycle plan is implemented
  • A Majority of trips to and around the CBD are by sustainable modes: 58% of trips to the CBD are by walking, cycling, scooter and public transport
  • Work, socialising and shopping account for 80% of trips to the CBD (58% for work)
  • Road space used for pedestrians, public transport users and riders  yield the highest return on investment
  • The space required for a pedestrian supports $321,175 per year, whereas the space required for a car returns $93,277 per year in economic benefit


Road space for movement is limited and needs to be prioritised towards its most efficient uses – walking, public transport and cycling to support as many people as possible, and enable a vibrant, growing economy.

Graham McCabe

Whilst mode of travel impacts our everyday life, it is important that our cities invest in a sustainable transport mode so we can all experience quality of life and a future well-being. Therefore, during the city-recovery phase it is important that transport investment is well-informed by real-life stats and data to ensure no more economic losses and decisions that are made have a contribution to all. Read our full report here.

Graham McCabe View Profile