Sunday, January 02, 2011

Public Transport Whinge

1/ I am not sure what possessed me, but today I found myself at Waterfront City, or is it Harbourside? Waterfront Harbourside Harbourfront? I dunno. It is the northern part of Docklands. I looked at the at the rear of big tin shed and guessed it was Costco. Ah, so that is where it is.

In spite of the broken ferris wheel, the Southern Star Observation Wheel, the shops were busy enough and plenty of people around, although if a couple of tram routes weren't routed to there, I doubt the shops would have good trade.

I needed to travel back to the city along Latrobe Street. I know the free City Circle comes here which will take me along Latrobe Street, but it is not a real circular tram route anymore. The trams do a loop of the city and then arrive at Waterfront City on a single line. The City Circle trams that arrive could be going via Harbour Esplanade and anti clockwise around the city or clockwise around the city along Latrobe Street. A City Circle tram arrived and I carefully checked if there was any indication of which way it would go. Nothing. Instead I waited for an 86 tram which went to the corner of Latrobe and Spencer Street and changed to a Latrobe Street tram. I did what I had to do in Latrobe Street and caught the bus in Queen Street home.

As I was travelling home on the bus, I texted a friend who is very knowledgeable about trams. He replied that there should be an auxiliary board indicator on the front of the City Circle tram and if not, pester the driver to find out. I dislike asking question of public transport staff. I like to work these things out myself.

So Yarra Trams, it can't be too hard to have an indication on your trams to inform the public which way the tram is going, free or not. May I suggest different route numbers for the different directions? The present route number is 35. What about using route 34 for the anticlockwise tram? I don't think route 34 is used for anything.

2/ R has a defective multiple trip Metcard. There are a few trips left on it and he wants to exchange it for a Myki credit or whatever can be done. We needed to be up near Lonsdale Street to get photos developed and then return to collect them. While we waited, in almost forty degree heat we travelled down to the Town Hall where the Metshop office is located. It was closed and has been since christmas and will not open until the 04/01 I suppose. I have no problem with businesses closing down at this time of the year. It is often the only break that shop owners get. But public transport is not a business. It is a service. I assume it employs staff and like most places where the staff don't have fixed holidays, holiday rosters are juggled around to hopefully suit all. Why would a public transport ticket office shut down for ten days? I suppose you can get ticket problems sorted at large railway stations, but a specialised place is preferable.

3/ I don't really hear the trams that rumble past the highrise. It is just a sound that is there. We barely hear them at all with the doors and windows closed, except one beast of a tram that sounds like it is going to collapse into a heap of nuts and bolts. I write of tram 5021, one of those horrible big trams made in Germany by Siemens. It nearly always runs on the 16 route to St Kilda. We were chatting to a friend in our lounge room when his chat stopped midstream and he then said 'Jesus, what was that?' as 5021 slammed around the curve in the tram track below. The beast has even woken me at 5.30 in the morning. Towards the end of the twentieth century new trams were becoming quieter, now they are becoming noisier. Progress, bah.

4/ I am tired of buses being so hot inside on warm days. Melbourne Bus Link and Ventura, have your drivers turn the airconditioning on. That is what it is for. It has a thermostat. It won't work any harder than it needs to.


  1. I say let the rabble rise up to take over the public transport network.
    And show the twats how to make not just the trains run on time but buses connect, tramlines extend and rail lines spread ever rural.

  2. Hell, why not just hire yourself out as a consultant? $1000 an hour for your expertise!!

    Happy 2011!!

  3. Anonymous10:01 pm

    Who knows what is going to happen to our transport system in the future? And, also MYKI? Yes, people do "doctor" their rosters around this time of the year.. it seems that the same people keep getting rostered on at Christmas and New Years... some of them for 5 years in a row. Sure, they are not working Christmas day.. but isn't a shift that begins at 7pm 24th Dec and goes until 3a.m. finish time on 25th December Christmas Day? I think so.
    It is a service that the transport company is supposed to provide.. weird that they close that office you were going to. Again, looks like they all took their leave.. just like local Council offices do.

    You know, when we (then Boyfriend and I) moved into the house in Westona I could hear the Petrol Refineries all day long.. and then, after a few months I got used to it I guess. Only visitors could hear the humm then.
    Cazzie :)

  4. Jayne, might that just be a train to Dunolly you would like re-instated?

    Thanks Red. When I become a dictator, I will sort it all out.

    I agree about your christmas roster Cazzie. Sounds unfair. At least there is a fair process at my work in so far as if you haven't had leave this chirstmas, you will be high on next year's list. The refinery noise might be like windfarm hum. It drives some people crazy and yet others never hear it.

  5. I want the ENTIRE Victorian train network from 1940 reinstated :P
    Not asking I? :P

  6. Jayne, I can see driver only diesel rail cars flying all over country Victoria on re-instated train lines. Heaven.

  7. I think Jayne's on to something - but why just Vic? Reinstate the whole OZ regional network and get some of this appalling semi and B double traffic of the road!! Or is that too simplistic?

  8. I think the decision to extend the city circle to Waterfront City was a bad idea. First of all, it disrupts the circuit. Second, as you pointed out in your blog, it adds confusion as to which direction the tram should be going. Your friend is right...there should be a little sign on the front of the tram but it's not very conspicuous.

  9. Red, I have yet to learn exactly where you live, the state that is. You seem nomadic. But all states had great and extensive rail systems.

    Ad Rad, there were obvious commercial reasons, but yes, it has spoiled the city circle tram. If you walked on the wild side and went to Habourfront, you would not know which city circle tram to get home.

  10. I'm still yet to get to Harbourwaterfrontcity. Hopeless!

  11. Fen, there is nothing there that you can't find elsewhere.

  12. The city circle going into harbourtown touches a nerve with me too. I'm pretty extreme in my belief that it should go down Spencer Street. Now it's more like the city cherry. Where the original city circle is the cherry and the extension to harbourtown is the stem.

    Also did you realise that harbourtown is a chain like DFO? I've been past ones in Perth and Adelaide, and I'm pretty sure the original is on the Gold Coast somewhere.

    As to the noisy German trams, a mate of mine lived in a house just off Nicholson Street in Carlton. It was a group of about 6 terraces (newer 1990's version of), he lived in about the third one in and I swear the whole place vibrated when one of those German trams went past. The older B class and Bumble Bees you could hardly hear.

  13. Ben, I think I will start calling it the City Cherry. I like it. I didn't know that it was a chain. I thought it an odd name given it isn't on the harbour. I feel sorry for someone on Nicholson Street as they would put up with a lot of them.