Despite reports to the contrary, Sydney's transport system has been hailed as Australia's most sustainable.
While the proportion of people driving to work has fallen, public transport use in the city is up.
On the other hand Melbourne's transport system is being strangled by the car. Public transport use is down and they city is more car reliant than any other Australian city.More stories from Today Tonight
RMIT's Dr Lucy Groenhart has co-authored a report with Dr Paul Mees on the habits of commuters around the nation - 35 years' worth of how we get to work, or into the CBD, has been put under their microscope.
Dr Groenhart says Melbourne's report card would get a B Minus.
"There has been pretty good performance in terms of public transport and people getting back on it, but Government's really let the side down - the Government is focusing again on roads, so could do better," Dr Groenhart said.
That's despite Melbourne workers having the dubious honour of relying more on the car to drive to and from work, than any other city. Sydney, a city with 130,700 more workers, has 59,000 fewer cars on the road.
Melbourne also gets the worst grades in the nation for walking to work, use of its buses and trams and despite transit lanes, carpooling has been on the decline since 1976.
Sydney's on the other hand has come out on top. "People ... don't tend to think of Sydney as necessarily being the sustainability capital, but that's what we've found," Dr Groenhart said.
In Sydney fewer vehicles travel into the CBD than other states. "More people get the train in Sydney than anywhere else, and the lowest car driving rate is the converse of that. So it's really built around this strong heavy rail network. Sydney bus services are also well used and better coordinated than in some other cities, so those are the two foundations of Sydney."
However where Melbourne does get back into the good books is in its bike usage, which is on the rise.
"Bike riding has really taken off in Melbourne. We've got more than 10,000 commuters coming into the city every single day," said Gary Brennan from Bicycle Network Victoria.
"Some of the routes into Melbourne we've seen grow from about twelve per cent to twenty per cent every year, so that's really rapid growth."
Surprisingly cycling is a very male-dominated mode of transport - about 77 per cent male riders compare with just 23 per cent female riders across Australian cities.
Melbourne's middle class men are embracing bikes more than ever, and in the past five years have left women behind.
Where Sydney is being left behind is in how outdated its public transport system is, says Kerryn Wilmot - Research Principal for the Institute for Sustainable Futures at UTS.
For example, Sydney is the only capital city without a multimodal public fare system.
"Ticketing and fair system is pretty poor: the fact (that) if you want to catch two buses you have to buy two tickets; the fact that you can't get off a train and onto a bus with one ticket; that you can't get a yearly that allows you to become a yearly transport user; that each trip is a decision in itself and its relatively expensive compared to a lot of places," Wilmot said.
The report points the finger of blame for Melbourne's obsession with driving to work at State and Federal Government's focus on channelling billions of dollars into building freeways.
Across the 35 years of the study, Melbourne's public transport usage has actually declined. But things have been improving more recently; since 1996 the city's public transport use has been the fastest growing in the country.
"Melburnians have actually shown and spoken with their feet. I guess that they actually want public transport so despite a lack of Government investment, we have seen a rise in public transport use, particularly on trains," Dr Groenhart said.
The report's recommended that if State Governments want to end the congestion into Sydney, they need better, more reliable public transport, instead of another motorway costing commuters lots of money.
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