Sunday, August 09, 2009

Loser on a Bus

A man who, beyond the age of 26, finds himself on a bus can count himself as a failure.

The above statement is attributed to the evil Maggie Thatcher, but there does seem to be a little doubt about the attribution. Who cares. She was a bad person. What a pity she is only gaga and not suffering horribly from a painful cancer caused by air pollution.

Now that our trains are bursting at the seams with passengers, this seems a bit less of an issue, but an issue it certainly was and to an extant, still is.

Dedicated public transport users are looked down upon in a very general sense. Can you imagine a top AFL player saying, ah, I don't have a car. I use the tram or train to get where I need to go. Given most of them live in the privileged areas well served by public transport, they probably could use it, with some taxi travel thrown in.

When we went into town last night on the tram, sailing past all the cars with their stressed looking drivers banked up back from the city, I was the one who felt privileged. Public transport may not be the answer for everyone, but it is always worth thinking about whether it might be a viable alternative.

So, if you are a dedicated public transport user, a cyclist or a walker, I thank you for not polluting our environment too badly, for reducing car congestion and generally making our city a bit nicer.

I seriously scratch my head about people who want to drive into the city. Weird.


  1. A man who, beyond the age of 26, finds himself on a bus can count himself as a failure.

    ooh lucky i'm a woman then!

    It's true, I always feel great if I'm on the tram during peak hour, whizzing past the stopped cars on Royal Parade. Then we get to Sydney Rd and it slows down significantly coz the tram doesn't have a dedicated lane :(

    It's even nicer when I'm on my push bike and I can leave all those polluting machines behind me.

  2. Fridee night coming home from Carlisle St in your neck of the woods we got an express from Caulfield to Oakleigh and was bliss to zoom past all the bumper to bumper traffic.

  3. As you know, I'm a huge fan of the automobile, however I'm not a huge fan of the overuse of same.

    I love a peak hour tram. Sure it may be packed, but it moves faster than my car would on the days I elect to drive, then hate myself for it.

    A prime example of how the car rules is the Docklands area. The entire precinct should be almost car-free. As a (relatively) new area, why wasn't PT a priority, with late night access granted to delivery trucks servicing the area only?

    As for driving in the city and inner sububs, unless you plan on bringing home a flat-pack bookself from Ikea, why the hell would you bother?

    For me a car is an escape tool. A great way of hitting the countryside and making my own plans along the way. I think people have forgotten about the 'privilige' part of motoring.

  4. I have only read as far as 'pollution' but I had already decided to be saying "NOT 'a failure' but' A Responsible Ecologically-Aware Person!
    OTOH when I look at my fellow passengers ...who are all so stupid they begin to look for their MYKI card to swipe-off, only after the bus has stopped and opened it's doors to the freezing ballarat air ... I wish they could all be euthanased (and Baroness Thatcher as well)

  5. He seems to have retired now, but Collingwood player Shane Wakelin was known for catching the train to games.

  6. And I thank you Fenz for not using a car.

    Jayne, as a car driver, it is particularly annoying to see trains flying along the Caulfield viaduct while you sit in stationary traffic.

    Mutant, I am not a fan of Docklands and so far as transport goes, it is neither a fish nor fowl. So expensive for parking yet tram service is so all over the place. You are a good lad for leaving your car home. I thank you.

    Ann, just wait until MYKI comes to Melbourne. I think I will leave the state for three months.

    Isn't that interesting Daniel. I am impressed. I hope he converted a few others.

  7. Ballarat bus 3:45pm

    boy kicks MYKI scanner
    (they are mounted about ribcage high, on the grippoles inside the bus)

    Driver: do that again and you are off the bus.

    boy did it again.

    stun guns.

  8. Actually one AFL player did say that. Shane Wakelin from Collingwood sold his car and took up cycling and using public transport instead. There was an article in the Good Weekend or some other magazine like that last year. I think he may have done a few promos for Metlink as well.

    And no he did not lose his licence for speeding or drink driving. He seems to be very level headed and down to earth, he was one of the senior players from the team and retired at the end of 2008.

  9. Oh it seems Daniel beat me to it.

    People think I'm crazy when I say I prefer getting the train/bus to work instead of driving, but drive anyway because it's quicker. Why can't the government fund buses properly?

  10. MS, I think just gun would be ok.

    Yep Ben. So people are just so dead set against public transport. PT can work to your benefit. Open minds please.