Frustrated commuters from outer suburbs around the country have taken to social media as part of the first ‘National Nightmare Commute Day’, held on 7 June.
The event generated thousands of engagements, trending on Twitter and leading to memes under the hashtag #nightmarecommute
From Penrith and Blacktown in western Sydney through to Wanneroo in Perth, commuters have taken selfies at the beginning and end of their commutes, documenting unacceptably long travel times.
Some joked about the Federal Government and Opposition’s aspiration for ‘30-minute cities’, with one northern Melbourne commuter saying that a 10 kilometre drive in 26 minutes is “Hardly a 30 min city, Malcolm”. The whole commute of 25 kilometres from South Morang to Richmond took 1.5 hours.
There were other commute times well in excess of an hour recorded in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth.
Rail commuters from Butler in Perth’s north arrived to a fast-filling carpark before 7am and took over an hour on a crowded train to get to the CBD. Another Melbourne resident quipped that “Driving to my exam is more stressful than the exam”.
“We’ve chosen one day to highlight the nightmare commutes which are a daily reality for our residents,” says Glenn Docherty, the Mayor of the City of Playford in Adelaide’s north. “This proves once and for all that in our areas, it’s more like 90-minute cities at the moment.”
“Unfortunately, it is our residents who are paying the price of poor leadership and foresight,” says Mayor Docherty, who is also the national spokesperson of the Fund our Future campaign, of which the City of Playford is part.
“Successive governments have failed to fund and build the infrastructure that fast-growing suburbs like ours, on the outskirts of our cities, need and deserve,” says Mayor Docherty who says he had a “good run”, taking 59 minutes to drive from Smithfield to the Adelaide CBD as part of the event.
The Fund our Future campaign, which is backed by the National Growth Areas Alliance and its member councils, calls for a national dedicated infrastructure fund to address the multi-billion dollar infrastructure backlog in these areas and future-proof them, as they continue to grow.
“Our great outer suburbs are diverse, growing communities that should be treated as a vibrant resource and given the right conditions to prosper, not left to languish in traffic jams and nightmare commutes,” says Mayor Docherty.
In addition to thousands of engagements on Facebook and Twitter, there have been dozens of stories about the event in print and on radio – including stories on 2UE, 2GB, The Sydney Morning Herald, the Herald Sun, The Age, 3AW, 774 ABC Melbourne, 6PR and the West Australian.