Thursday, September 25, 2014

The last tram down Swanston Street

I was sitting at the tram stop in Swanston Street outside the State Library waiting for R. It is said cities are busy places where everyone is in such a rush. Ok, yes Melbourne is a busy place at times but everyone in a rush? Not at all. In my experience people are frustratingly slow at times. As I have mentioned before, I look for a woman with wide hips who is on a mission and I walk behind her as she clears the path in front.

But as I was observing it is quite different when a tram arrives at a stop. There are nine different tram routes along Swanston Street and with a tram every twelve minutes on each route during the day, you aren't going to wait very long for one, slightly over a minute, well in theory. However, when a tram arrives it seems like an invisible soul is calling out 'hurry, hurry, this will be the last tram ever down Swanston Street. If you don't catch this one now, you will never get another. Yes, don't worry about the big wide doors. Everybody queue at the narrow front door. Yes, ignore the line of empty trams behind this one, because you know better. You know this is the last tram down Swanston Street and if you miss this one, you life will be ruined.'

People always seem in such a rush when catching a tram and would rather pack in like sardines on the first one to arrive than get on a following tram and sit in comfort. Of course some are catching a particular tram because they are going travel on that actual routes out of the city, but most are not. We humans are strange animals at times. Photo from The Age.


22 comments:

  1. Andrew, lovely sentence the same is at my place
    would rather pack in like sardines on the first one to arrive than get on a following tram and sit in comfort

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    1. Gosia, I had hoped Europeans were more sensible.

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  2. Lovely shot congrats

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  3. We are FREQUENTLY very odd indeed. And have, I think, some fairly twisted priorities.

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    1. EC, I guess it would be boring if we were too orderly.

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  4. I'm still laughing at the woman with large hips on a mission clearing a path, she should have a pipe so she could become the pied piper.
    Merle............

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    1. Merle, it does work until someone cuts in front of you and you lose her.

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  5. I think all you say is true. People do seem to rush the first tram that arrives, as I do myself on the Flinders St trams *blush*. But nobody wants to stand and strap-hang, so the bolting continues _after_ the initial rush in through the tram door. Everyone then leaps onto a seat, including me *blush again*.

    If I do manage to grab a seat, I don't stand for anyone except pregnant women and old age pensioners.

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    1. Hels, such behaviour seems to be human nature. OAPs don't like the backs of trams, so a seat there is less likely to have to be relinquished.

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  6. It is sometimes strange how we behave in such situations. I would rather catch the next one if they are so frequent.

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    1. Diane, which is what I do.

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  7. I would imagine it is because of where the tram is going. Obviously all the trams don't have the same destination, and people need to get to different places, perhaps by a certain time to make another transport connection. If I have an appointment to keep, I'll squash onto the first bus going there, but most of the time I'll travel when there are less people, or I will wait for a less crowded bus.

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    1. That's quite true River, but not many of them and certainly not where I was. Most would be city travellers or heading for St Kilda Road, which most of the trams service.

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  8. My parents had a little mantra - 'never run after a tram or a woman - there'll be another along in a minute'. We lived in London but the same (about trams, at least - I was then too young to know about women) was true in many places and still is today in Melbourne. On the other hand, people know that trams can't overtake each other as buses can so the first tram to arrive will be the first at their destination. Cut a bit of slack into your travel times and leave yourself a choice of an empty tram as opposed to a sardine can. River's point is also true - I often travel to Toorak Village and if the 8 is first after a two-minute gap then I have to catch it or wait and hope the next one isn't similarly the first of a group. A problem (from occasional observation) seems to be that trams reversing at the University will let a route 1 or 8 car from Lygon Street pass before they come off the sidings. Maybe an inspector or two to hold through trams and signal a starter out in front would even out the loadings a bit along Swanston Street.

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    1. Chris, I am not sure people do know trams can't overtake. "Which tram goes first?" with the two trams sitting at a single track terminus.

      Rather the opposite at the Uni terminus. The 1 and 8, already loaded, will be slower, so the other drivers would prefer to get in front of them but the timing is down to the minute, so no early leaving.

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  9. you should have said you took that photo...its wonderful

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    1. Yes, rather good I though John, although maybe it does not show discomfort enough.

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  10. I would no doubt be left behind for I don't think I would hurry, it's not my nature.

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    1. WA, life is much easier if you leave yourself plenty of time and don't have to hurry.

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  11. They certainly are Andrew, strange to the max!

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    1. Grace, with the exceptions of us, of course.

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