Sunday, January 31, 2010

Train or Car

I am at times given to wonder about the percentage of people who use our trains who feel they are forced to use them because of the traffic congestion they would endure if they used their car. I know one such person.

She is definitely a car person. We went somewhere on a tram with her a couple years ago and she said it was the first time she had used public transport in years. This surprised me given she lives in East St Kilda.

She started a new job at the eastern end of the city last year, without a staff car parking space, and so had to use the train to get to work and as her line does not use the City Loop, she had to change trains to get to Parliament . She likes the job but was looking forward to when the office was moved to Docklands as she would be able to use her car again to get to and from work and park at Docklands Stadium for a reasonable price.

It hasn't quite worked out that way. She has discovered that it is quicker and less stressful for her to drive and park at Balaclava Station, catch the train to Flinders Street and change to another train to get to So Cross Station and then walk to Docklands (short walk to her office).

Does she enjoy what she considers her forced use of trains? Nope, not one iota.

As for me, I am often forced to use my car when I would rather leave the driving to someone else and instead of participating in the competition for road space, stare out the window, read or contemplate.


  1. Being forced to get up close and personal with the great unwashed masses on trains that are becoming more crowded while less and less of 'em seem to practice basic hygiene habits annoys the crap out of me, too, especially when the train is filthy, smells, the seats are covered in dried out chewing gum, dirty little shits have smeared their fast food all over the windows and left rubbish all over the place.
    It's not an issue with Connex/Metro it's the grotty little toe-rags who reduce all public places to a cess pool.
    If only Station Staff were equipped with stock whips, scrubbing brush and a hose....

  2. She could always move closer to her place of work.

    That reminds me...I have to tram to catch.

  3. Jayne, it seems some of the Indian overseas students are the worst offenders. Why don't their friends notice and tell them?

    She could walk it in the same time it takes her drive I reckon Brian. News for you, they have shut your trams down.

  4. Anonymous10:20 pm

    Urban Geography 101 - patterns of development in relation to transport. Romans had the same problems, hasn't changed much. Wont do a long RANT. Get into trouble.

  5. Andrew,

    I realise that now. They're not running again until June, apparently, when the tracks are sorted. I had to catch the bus this morning instead...which was probably a better bet in the long run because the tram tracks don't go to where I was headed anyway.

  6. Jayne almost said what I would have said word for word :)
    I drive to work and park at work. It costs me a bit to park at work. On weekends if I am on an afternoon or night shift I park for free out in front of te hospital..but I do have to get out of work right on time or else the parking inspector (read, "bitch" parking inspector) is there right before 0730hrs... and she does book you if you are not back at your vehicle right on time. Doing her bit for the council I guess.
    If we move closer to the city I will use public transport. I believe there is a bus that takes me from Nth Melb Station right to the door of Royal Melb.

  7. Michael, early Melbourne tended to built where the speculators managed to get transport up and running. Other way around now.

    It is a big project over a couple of years I think Brian.

    I have caught the N Melb to Melb Uni bus. I boarded at RMB. Here is a snip from a post on May 08.

    "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."

  8. I'd much rather catch the tram or cycle than drive. I gave up on trains about a year ago after many cancellations, shortening of trains and so on. There are too many overly aggressive drivers on the road, cutting in and out, overtaking dangerously, I don't understand what everyone's hurry is.

  9. Anonymous10:42 pm

    true, quote
    (Michael, early Melbourne tended to built where the speculators managed to get transport up and running. Other way around now.

    But SOMEONE built them. I was probably a bit obtuse, but WHY it happens is part of Social Geography, which is a Fascinating Subject. Why trains gave way to cars, horses/carts to trains then cars, etc etc and ever back till Ye Olden Days....

  10. Part of the problem must be Fen, that no-one leaves themselves enough time.

    Michael, I think when subdivisions go ahead, provision should at least be made for future public transport. Ideally it should go in first imo.