Enlarge and download as a PDF | Source: UNSW 2013 Travel Survey

More students and staff are travelling to UNSW by public transport and by bicycle than ever before. Every weekday during semester, around 40,000 trips are made to and from UNSW's Kensington campus making it the largest single destination in Sydney's eastern suburbs.

Unlike other Sydney-based universities, UNSW is not located close to a railway station meaning there is a higher reliance on the use of buses, although this will change in 2020 with the opening of the new South East Light Rail line.

Transport is a key component of UNSW's Environmental Management Plan.
See the EMP for a status report for 2016.

Annual travel survey

UNSW's annual Travel Survey provides critical input to the University's transport strategy. The survey is run every April and completed its tenth year in 2016. The University analyses survey results each year to design programs that promote sustainable transportation options including walking, cycling and public transport. The results are also used to develop measures that reduce car dependence and parking demand on campus.

Some 18%, or almost 10,000, UNSW staff and students took part in the 2016 travel survey. Some key statistics from the survey results are as follows:

Public transport: In 2016, a majority of the respondents (59.8%) travelled by public transport, an 10.9% increase since 2007 when this method of travel was used by only 48.9% of staff and students. When the percentages were extrapolated to the average daily campus population, the results equated to an average increase of 1,419 public transport users each year.

Private vehicles: In 2016 18.8% of respondents travelled in private vehicles, a 13.3% decrease since 2007. When the percentages were extrapolated to the average daily campus population, the results equated to an average decrease of 360 private vehicle users each year despite a growth in the total campus population of approximately 18,327 since 2007.

Walking: Walking to and from the campus has been fairly consistent over the years with 12.1% of all respondents walking to campus in 2016. When extrapolated to the average daily campus population, the results demonstrate that approximately 5,322 staff and students walked to/from the campus in 2016 on a typical semester day.

Cycling: Bicycle usage continues to gain popularity and demonstrates an increasing trend which has more than doubled as a typical mode of transportation since 2007. The percentage of respondents cycling to and from the campus increased from 2.7% in 2007 to 4.1% in 2016. When extrapolated to the average daily campus population, this is a significant increase from 922 daily riders in 2007 to 1,613 daily riders in 2016.

South East Light Rail – coming soon!

UNSW is a key destination on the new South East Light Rail route which will extend from Circular Quay, through Sydney's CBD and on to UNSW via Central Station. Construction started in 2016 and is expected to be completed in 2020. The light rail is set to transform public transport to UNSW and is anticipated to greatly reduce staff and student reliance on private vehicle usage. For the latest news visit UNSW's Light Rail website

Car sharing and car pooling

Car sharing

In 2011, UNSW became the first university in Australia to have car sharing facilities on campus. Four vehicles (including a van) from the car share company GoGet are available for hire.

In 2016, approximately 160 students and staff used the service. There were over 2,400 bookings across the year with an average booking length of 4.3 hours per booking.

GoGet data has shown carshare members drive, on average, 2,000km less per year than the average car owner. This results in 320,000 less kilometres travelled per year by UNSW students and staff.

Car pooling

UNSW has a dedicated car-pooling website called MyCarpools which has been designed to match drivers with passengers based on location, travel times and personal preferences. Car-pooling reduces travel congestion, pollution and the costs of travel.

Car parking

Whilst car parking at UNSW is limited, driving to and from the University remains attractive to many staff and students. Because car transportation is in direct conflict with the University's sustainability goals, UNSW has implemented carsharing and carpooling strategies to reduce single passenger private vehicle dependency.

In addition, we have increased car parking fees at a greater rate to encourage students and staff to choose more sustainable transport options. There are approximately 2,800 parking spaces on its Kensington campus (including loading bays).


The Kensington campus is easily accessible by bicycle and provides over 50 indoor and almost 700 outdoor designated bicycle parking spaces. This is an increase of about 17% since 2013. There are also two permanent bike pumps and 19 shower locations. UNSW also took part in national Ride to Work day in 2016 for the fifth consecutive year.

Bike Hub

In 2016 a business case was put forward for the construction of a Bike Hub. This is a secure bicycle parking facility that includes a range of end of trip facilities, including lockers, showers, change rooms and, potentially, a bike workshop. The project has enthusiastic support across campus and was identified as one of the most popular campus improvement opportunities in a 2016 Arc Annual Student Survey.

Fleet vehicles

UNSW ensures that a high proportion of its 83 fleet vehicles are energy-efficient or use alternative fuels. Fuel-efficient vehicles in the fleet include hybrid cars (Toyota Prius and Toyota Camry) and three electric vehicles.