Sydney and Melbourne rail commuters

The Adshel Rail Commuter, affluent, highly educated and big spenders

As part of the roll out of Adshel’s Metro Trains Melbourne network next month we’ve been researching  Sydney and Melbourne rail commuters.

We assumed we would see variations as different as the cities themselves but have been surprised to see how similar train commuters in Sydney and Melbourne are; the key takeaway is that both are affluent audiences, highly educated and big spenders.

We were especially surprised to find that although Melbourne is considered a tram city, more Melburnians catch the train (78%) than a tram (70%) to the CBD for work. In fact both Sydney and Melbourne train commuters are high frequency users, Melburnians catch the train 6 times a week, Sydneysiders 6.6 times a week.

We also discovered alignment in the age demographics; for example 18 to 34 year olds make up 37% of train commuters in both Sydney and Melbourne. A similar story comes out across a range of categories. Sydney and Melbourne rail commuters are both more likely than the average population to be in the valuable AB quintile, have earned a degree or diploma, and are manager or professionals. See and download the infographic for exact values.

Even more relevant for brands wanting to connect with their target market is the finding that Melbourne (+13%) and Sydney (+10%) train commuters are more likely to be Big Spenders. Big Spenders are in the top third of Australians when grouped by discretionary spending, they spend more on credit cards, entertainment, shopping, mobile phones and cars.

Beyond numbers our research also reveals that trip purpose and time of travel affects commuters’ mindset and mood in both cities. In the morning commuters want to be informed. They are thinking about bigger purchases, their finances and significant life decisions. In their evening commuters are seeking inspiration, recipe ideas for dinner time, where to go on holidays and social planning.

Incorporating commuters’ mind and mood empowers advertisers to be more effective with their media buying, the creative can be adapted by time, day, location triggers so it is contextually relevant for the audience.  Contextually relevant advertising is 19% more effective.

41% of commuters think of train travel as ‘me time’ and use their trip to check social media (67%), research and browse online (41%), a third think about products they want to buy and 54% stop off at a supermarket on the way home.

While travelling, commuters have the time to research and think about products they have recently seen on their train trip. Our research demonstrates that when brands influence rail commuters at the right time, they are can achieve increases in both brand intrigue and purchase intent.

The alignment between Sydney and Melbourne train commuters presents a huge opportunity for advertisers who want to connect with 14 million commuter journeys each week.

Adshel offers brands the only fully scalable digital rail network to deliver powerful, contextually relevant messaging across Australia’s two biggest markets through a single network, Adshel Rail.


SYD/MEL Adshel Rail Commuter Study, 2018

Exploring Rail Commuters Research, Dentsu-Aegis 2017

Mind & Mood Study, HT&E 2017

The Context Effect Study, Neuro-Insight, 2016

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