How to ride safely in heavy traffic lane filtering peeved commuters lip automatic brakes
Brisbane traffic

Lane filter past our commuting nightmare

It’s time the motorcycle industry advertised the benefits of riding to work by motorcycle as commuting times have increased about a quarter across Australia in the past couple of decades.

The latest annual Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey shows Sydney commuters are the worst hit, while Brisbane’s commuting times have increase the most in the past 20 years.

Across the nation workers spend an average of 4.5 hours a week getting to and from work, which is up 23% since 2002.

Motorcycle retailers, distributors and importers should stop complaining about plummeting sales.

Instead, they should spend more money advertising how much quicker it is to commute by motorcycle, especially now that lane filtering is legal across the nation!

Two-wheel commuting benefitsHow to ride safely in heavy traffic lane filtering happiest commuters commuting plan

Every commute is different, but travelling the 22km from my western Brisbane suburb to work in an inner-city suburb used to take me about 40 minutes by car and 30 on a bike (and that was before lane filtering was made legal).

So that’s a 25% time saving.

Across a week, that would be a saving of 50 minutes.

If there is an accident that brings traffic to a standstill, then a motorcycle will save you even more time.

And commuting by motorcycle makes you feel alive and vibrant so when you get to work your creative juices are flowing!

That is contrary to the survey which found workers with long commuting times arrived at work unhappy and unproductive.

Instead of promoting motorcycling, the experts are now calling for more money to be spent on public transport.

However, trains and buses are not near as convenient as a motorcycle that you can ride from door to door with handy, cheap or even free parking as an added bonus.

Imagine if the motorcycle industry began advertising the benefits of motorcycle commuting!

They could use date from the oft-quoted 2011 Belgian Transport and Mobility study that found if 10% of all private cars were replaced by motorcycles, it would reduce traffic congestion by 40%.

If 25% went from steering wheel to handlebar, traffic congestion would cease, it found.

Location 2002 2005 2008 2011 2014 2017 Change (%)
Sydney 61 65 70 65 71 71 17
Rest of New South Wales 42 41 49 46 48 51 23
Melbourne 59 60 67 64 68 65 12
Rest of Victoria 36 38 51 48 46 46 26
Brisbane 46 55 56 63 62 67 45
Rest of Queensland 38 43 44 44 48 49 30
Adelaide 45 54 52 52 55 56 26
Rest of South Australia 29 35 30 34 36 42 43
Perth 50 50 57 56 59 59 19
Rest of Western Australia 26 44 36 39 40 43 65
Tasmania 43 47 41 43 44 42 -2
Northern Territory 29 40 31 34 35 35 19
Australian Capital Territory 31 36 41 51 55 52 65
  1. Lane filtering = Fuck you, I am more important than you therefore I can drive between cars and get ahead of you…oh…and cut you off at a moments notice also.
    And remember! You have to watch out for us!
    Why? Because we are special and you are not!

  2. What about the fact motorbikes are
    * Cheaper to run, and more efficient
    * Cheaper to register
    * Cheaper for road tolls
    * Easy to park (and free and convenient)

    And they are fun fun fun

  3. Just to play devils advocate for a minute:
    – saving of 5-10 minutes commute time is easily lost putting on and taking off gear
    – most motorcycles are no more fuel efficient than compact cars
    – easily the least considerate and most aggressive road users on my commute are the cyclists followed closely by my fellow motorcyclists, so tbh if motorcycle numbers tripled I would catch the bus rather than face the chaos!

    My conclusion: motorcycle commuting is great as a niche activity, but for large scale people-shifting the authorities are quite right to focus on public transport.


    Scooter – 25 mins
    Bicycle – 32
    Car – 37
    Train – 72 (1 hr 12)
    Bus – 74
    60 yr old man running – 80 minutes.

    I’ve never understood why motorcycles aren’t advertised as ways to beat traffic unless perhaps the accountants decide that the small capacity, lower priced commuter bikes just don’t have enough profit for an advertising budget?

    That would explain why only the most expensive bikes are advertised and only advertised to people who already ride.

  5. Just bought a KTM Duke 390 for this very reason. $4000, and $15 of petrol gets over 260km.

    The weather in Sydney is almost perfect for motorbikes given how little rain we have (thanks to all the cars increasing climate change 🙂

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