Friday, May 02, 2008
I am so old now I refer to going out as an outing. The weather yesterday was not great, so I pretty well stayed in until I caught the train to Murrumbeena and met up with R and we babysat Little Jo for a while. Sister unexpectedly cooked us roast pork. The Bone Doctor had to leave straight after dinner to return to hospital to use a circular saw and chisel on someone's leg.
Luckily I had today off too, so I took my postponed trip from yesterday quite early this morning.
2-16/19/20 bus to Casino, 55 tram to North Melbourne, 57 tram to Royal Melbourne Hospital, 401 bus to Melbourne Uni, 8 tram to North Carlton, 2-50/51/53 bus to QV for shopping and a 64 tram home.
Apart from a decent wait for the 2-16/19/20 bus to begin, I waited no longer than 5 minutes for any other vehicle. A good effort Melbourne Public Transport. When it works, it works well. I was out for two and half hours.
A few observations which may bore a casual reader. All, I think, Melbourne bus services in the 200 range are ex government owned bus routes. The 2-16/19/20 route numbers used to be in 600 range, until the government took over the poor and ailing service in the early eighties. I recall these Brighton Bus Lines? buses were completely worn out and dangerous. They were quickly withdrawn and replaces with much more modern air conditioned buses, some of which are still running. In the mid nineties, all Melbourne public bus services were privatised, read subsidised with public money to a private company to run them. But then even earlier, Brighton Buses took over some publicly owned Victorian Railway tram routes. Jayne explains here.
The same mid nineties privatisation goes for 2-50/51/53 service in Rathdowne Street Carlton, although it was government run since its inception. But why is there such a good bus service in Rathdowne Street? Why isn't it a tram? Well it once was, a cable tram. It was replaced by buses and not an electric tram. Read Jayne's blog with brief details here.
The 401 bus is an innovative and perhaps successful approach to our train and tram overcrowding. I haven't seen any figures, but I expect it is well patronised in the morning and evening peaks. It travels from North Melbourne railway station, via Royal Melbourne Hospital to Melbourne University. I should think it gets students off the trains at the extremely busy North Melbourne Station and onto the bus, rather than travel into the city and then tram to Uni. I will say though there were only two other passengers on the bus when I was on it and I know the bus in front was not running late. I am not sure if a six minute day time service interval is sustainable.
And the picture? A nice and grand house in North Melbourne. It is a beauty, with a slate roof, great cast iron lace work and poly chromatic brick work.
And, and, and, what was I doing in North Melbourne and North Carlton? Taking pictures of old signs to add to Tony's Melbourne's History in Old Signs website.