Optimising
toll-road travel

Making the most of every trip

The number one reason why a toll road is built in the first place is to reduce travel times. The economic, social and environmental benefits of reducing travel times are significant and include: reducing business and freight operating costs; giving families and friends more time together; and cutting fuel costs, consumption and emissions through more efficient travel.

Data here shows the value toll roads generate, and also how people travelling on toll roads can get more out of their journeys.

Optimising
toll-road travel

Making the most of every trip

The number one reason why a toll road is built in the first place is to reduce travel times. The economic, social and environmental benefits of reducing travel times are significant and include: reducing business and freight operating costs; giving families and friends more time together; and cutting fuel costs, consumption and emissions through more efficient travel.

Data here shows the value toll roads generate, and also how people travelling on toll roads can get more out of their journeys.

Explore the data

Time icon
Best times to
travel on our roads

How good timing can smooth out those travel bumps

Congestion icon
Flattening the
congestion curve

How small changes can help ease congestion for all

Plus icon
Wider benefits
of toll-road travel

How toll roads contribute
to liveability and growth

Best times to travel on our roads

Trip times on our roads vary, based on:

Demand

(AKA the number of vehicles on the road)

Conditions

(for example, heavy rain that may impact traffic flow and speed)

Incidents

(for example, a lost load or a vehicle breakdown)

In FY22 our customers collectively saved 323,000 hours in travel time every work day by choosing our toll roads over the alternate route.

Case study: Travel time savings in Sydney

The following table shows when travel time saved on our Sydney roads is highest, compared to the time it would take you on the alternate route.
For information about how much time, fuel and emissions toll roads could save you, check out our Trip Compare tool.

Best time to travel on our roads

While toll roads are generally the quickest way to get from A to B, they can get congested in peak times just like alternative routes. Congestion at peak hour is most noticeable in Sydney and Melbourne, Australia's two biggest capital cities. These charts show the times of day when your trip on our roads might take a little longer. You can use these charts to figure out how much extra time your trip would take at different times—compared to during a free run with no congestion.

This data does not provide a comparison with travel by alternate routes, it only reflects congestion on each Transurban road.



Congestion icon

Flattening the congestion curve

Flexible working has become a part of working life for many following the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. This new flexibility includes increased fluidity regarding in-person attendance, varied start and finish times and other arrangements.

But flexible working could also help prevent congestion returning to pre-pandemic levels or worse, and may even improve the efficiency of transport networks. For example, analysis of CityLink (Tullamarine Freeway) traffic in Melbourne shows that if 6% of motorists heading towards the city shifted their travel outside the busiest hours of 6am to 9am, traffic levels would be similar to those observed during school holidays and average speeds would increase by over 10 km/h.

In the August 2022 edition of our Urban Mobility Trends report we asked thousands of people across Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, the Greater Washington Area and Montreal about whether they were able to work varied start and finish times, and if so, whether they use it to avoid peak traffic times. We found most people can work flexible start and finish times and do so (at least a few times a month) to avoid peak traffic.

We acknowledge that flexible working is an opportunity that is not available to everyone who works—but this trend (and employee expectations) may evolve over time as flexible working becomes standard across white-collar industries.

For more information on how mobility has changed as a result of the pandemic, see link below.

Wider benefits

If reducing your own or your company’s emissions is on your mind (it’s definitely on our minds), shifting travel outside
peak hours reduces overall greenhouse gas emissions from transport, too. Read more about emissions reduction using the link below.

Tips for shifting your start-finish times

For those with access to flexible working arrangements, and those who commute regularly, shifting your routine could cut your travel time and create opportunities, too.

  • Drive in early and get a workout/run/yoga class in before you clock on at work – you might even get a better park (or if you PT it, you might get a seat all to yourself)
  • Switch to a local gym and get your workout done before travelling to work post-morning peak
  • Look for after-work running tracks or fitness classes near your workplace and head home when the roads and PT are quieter
  • Drop the kids at school and, instead of racing off to work, stop by a local café and get some work in before cruising in on quieter roads
  • Team up with a trusted parent to steward each other’s kids to after-school activities, giving you both the chance to leave work later and skip the peak
  • Take your own education to the next level—enrol in an evening class near your workplace and roll on home afterwards, smarter and faster
  • Block out early mornings for quiet work, and schedule collaborative activities for later in the day when everyone else has arrived
  • Book early medical, beauty and other appointments and get them done before your official workday starts
Eco-driving: better for the environment and your wallet

The August 2022 edition of our Urban Mobility Trends report found the cost of petrol is a top concern for people across Australia, Greater Washington Area and Montreal. Applying eco-driving principles to your travel can help reduce the amount of petrol you use.

Time icon

Driving outside peak hours on our toll roads means less stopping and starting, travelling at more efficient speeds and spending less time on the road

Road

Transport emissions are linked to the amount of fuel consumed and free-flowing motorways offer significant savings in GHG emissions

GHG icon

Driving outside peak hour—avoiding start-stop traffic and getting home faster—can save you (on average) about 27% in fuel and greenhouse gas emissions, compared to travel on an alternate route

Wider benefits of toll-road travel

Toll roads improve the productivity, and in turn, the prosperity of cities. For example, Sydney's toll road network will create $35.8 billion in economic benefits over 30 years due to its accelerated delivery by the private sector, according to KPMG research commissioned by Transurban. This includes travel-time savings, reliability gains and reduced operating costs.

Value
$35.8 billion in benefits

The total $35.8 billion in benefits includes $11.8 billion in benefits to business and freight users, $9.4 billion in benefits to personal users and $14.5 billion in wider economic benefits.

Work icon
Job creation

The Sydney toll road network also brings jobs, and is expected to generate an average 5,300 new full-time jobs every year for the next 30 years.

Toll road benefits to personal users (Sydney)
$9.4B

Total benefits

$8.8B

Travel-time savings

$0.4B

Vehicle operating cost-savings

$0.2B

Travel-time reliability benefits