Hobart’s bike ambitions

The Hobart City Council has unveiled an ambitious plan to change the commuter travel habits of its own staff as one of the solutions to the city’s traffic challenges.

And bikes are a key element in its ambitions.

If the action plan is delivered over the coming years, and if private enterprise and the State Government adopt the same policies, Hobart will have much better bike connections, more bike parking, and more incentives for people to walk, ride and use public transport.

It will also dovetail with Hobart’s new transport strategy, which is in the final stages of consultation.

And, it will be critical to tackling the city’s peak-hour congestion issue.

This vision, outlined in the Employee Travel Plan, aligns with Bicycle Network’s long-held ambitions to help deliver better transport and health outcomes not just for Hobart but around the state.

The council, under the plan, wants to:

  • Increase the number of employees walking, cycling and using public transport
  • Reduce trips made by car by encouraging car sharing
  • Shift travel outside the morning and evening peak hours
  • And, overall, reduce the total travel by its employees

Transport consultancy Mott MacDonald surveyed council staff as part of the development of the plan – and the results were unsurprising.

It found there was room for improvement to bicycle parking and end-of-trip facilities at most council sites, and that bus services “are not optimized for commuters and are typically slower and less reliable than driving.”

The survey also found that the majority of employees would consider car sharing, would be willing to travel outside peak hours using flexible working times, and were willing and able to work from home.

The travel plan outlines an extensive list of actions in the short term, including promoting the health benefits of walking and cycling, and promoting sustainable transport initiatives, such as Bicycle Network’s Ride2Work program.

The council will distribute bicycle route and parking information to employees.

In the medium term, it is recommended that the council promote bicycle training courses, supply more bike parking at council sites and promote it, and improve bicycle connectivity and safety.