Magazine of Socialist Action in Australia

Low paid forced to travel the furthest

By Socialist Party reporters

New research has shown that low paid workers employed in the Central Business Districts (CBDs) of Australia’s major cities are being forced to travel further to get to work.

In cities like Sydney and Melbourne workers were commuting more than 16km a day on average. This comes as high rents and stagnant wages force workers to live further away from the CBD, where the bulk of the jobs are.

Making matters worse high levels of casualisation and unsociable rosters means that some workers (like cleaners and hospitality staff) commute as many as four times a day to work split shifts.

Four out of five low income workers are forced to rely on public transport to get to work which shows the importance of the trade union movement joining the fight for free, frequent and expanded public transport systems.

If public transport was publicly owned and controlled the profit motive could be removed and it could be run as an essential service instead of a profit making enterprise. Expansions could be financed by taxes on employers, who are the ones that profit by exploiting workers in the first place.