Future transport - the impact of convenience
Future transport - the impact of convenience

The impact of convenience

We want convenience, regardless of the financial cost or impact on the environment.

We asked respondents to fast forward to 2035 and tell us where they will live and work, how they will get to work, what will drive meal decisions, how they will purchase things and what their preferences will be for delivery of those things.

For 59% of respondents, convenience was the most important consideration. The environment was barely a blip on the radar with just 5% thinking about which choices have the least environmental impact.

This disconnect demonstrates that while climate change remains a significant topic of discussion across the country, people are not necessarily prepared to sacrifice their creature comforts to help the planet.

The implications of our convenience culture on travel and the environment

As more people move into cities, more goods are moved into and around cities and the culture of convenience is creating problems which impact us all – from a throwaway culture that’s spread packaging across the globe, to growing freight and transport systems which increase emissions, noise pollution and congestion.

We need to better balance the demand for convenience with a better outcome for our environment.

We love having things now, but that appetite for convenience comes at a cost. It has a knock-on effect to the environment, our infrastructure, our economy and to our liveability.

The survey results show a disturbing appetite for convenience and before we get into a hole that we can’t dig ourselves out of, we need to better utilise our energy and embrace more sustainable options for moving people and goods around.

Legislation and taxation plays a role in minimising the environmental impacts, but more needs to be done when developing transport and landuse frameworks and growth plans. We need to bundle our collective energy for a cleaner, brighter future – go electric, incentivise adoption, disincentivise the ‘late adopters’, create the right infrastructure and influence the broader ecosystem.

Although the environment ranked low, we shouldn’t lose faith… the environmental tide is turning in other industries and geographies, with people power playing a role where governments aren’t. In the past few years we have seen massive shifts in mindset over single use plastics and microcarbons – people challenging convenience with the environment at its heart.

This mindset shift will ultimately hit other industries hard and these same people will inevitably challenge our transport giants and governments to elevate the environment more in our transport choices and networks.

While people are acutely aware of the environment and are passionate about the impact we are having, the issue really is a disconnect between what they want and how it impacts the environment.

For example, the Australian Logistics Council recently spoke about the need to change their community perception so they are viewed as the industry that helps deliver WeetBix in breakfast bowls every morning instead of their current image as the dirty and noisy trucks and trains polluting our roads.

Aurecon person cycling
Lady receiving gift

People are willing to pay a premium to get to their destination quicker and with less disruption

Speed, accessibility and reliability are fundamental to any well utilised transport or freight solution. Have all three and people will want it, people will use it and people will pay for it.

When it comes to delivery, 18% of people are willing to pay more for same day or instant delivery. This is set to increase, as younger respondents are more likely to choose this option over regular delivery options with longer timeframes.

  • Respondents 18-34 years of age: 25% chose delivery to a place of your choice by premium drone at 10am Monday
  • Respondents 65 and above: 10% chose delivery to a place of your choice by premium drone at 10am Monday

On the flip side, it’s important to note this culture of convenience – created through the advent of door-to-door delivery and on-demand services – has made a profound difference, and will continue to make, on people with restricted mobility.

These new services are providing people who experience difficulty with leaving their homes access to new connections they previously did not have, and will only increase when on-demand autonomous vehicles appear.

Family in the city

What value do people put on their time?

Travel time savings are often the primary justification for transport infrastructure improvements, and this presents a huge opportunity to leverage data and new technology in freight and transport planning, to give the city, and time, back to its people.

  • A majority of respondents (59%) lead busy lives, juggling multiple priorities from family, friends and career. Any decision, gadget or transport that makes life easier got a big tick of appreciation. These respondents were drawn to anything that saves time.

  • 14% of respondents prioritised cost-convenience – drawn to things that save time, but were also willing to wait a bit longer / take more time to get somewhere if it means saving dollars.

  • 9% prioritised cost sensitivity as important and they were willing to wait longer and take more time to get somewhere if it saves money.

Life may not always be this busy but you can’t see it slowing down anytime soon, so you are drawn to anything that saves time.

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