Saturday, February 11, 2017

Catching the 109 bus

R and myself were nattering away about how people who arrived on cruise liners to our Station Pier used to have to line up at the local shop to buy our stored value public transport card called Myki. Queues used to stretch well outside as people lined up. While no doubt the business did well from selling so many cards, the impact on the rest of the business would have been substantial.

We wondered what the current arrangements are? I have learnt that Public Transport Victoria has a ticket booth on Station Pier  to sell Myki cards for passengers to catch the tram to the city. No doubt they push the Visitor Myki at $15 when the basic one is $6 non refundable and it has has no travel credit. With at least a day's public transport included with the Visitor Myki, and other discounts, it it not bad value at all, extra good if you are staying for more than one day and want to see museums, galleries etc. While a ship might unload a couple of thousand people, many book coach tours and are picked up at the pier. Even so, the impact on Route 109 tram by those who want to visit the city when a ship arrives must be huge.

Each morning when a cruise liner arrives, Yarra Trams tweets Cruise Ship arrivals in Port Melbourne today. Route 109 passengers may consider Transdev buses. Catching an ordinary bus from Station Pier would probably take double the time the tram takes. Is it a matter that the trams simply cannot cope with the numbers?

Then I noticed this on the PTV website, a 109 route bus? What? It seems a dedicated bus numbered 109 runs express from Station Pier to the Arts Centre, just on the southern edge of the city and this is the principal way PTV suggest cruise passengers get to the city. It has something like a 15 minutes service interval off peak, somewhat more than the 109 tram. Me? I would rather catch the tram and mix it with the locals. This is not run by Transdev, but by Sita.

This is my absolutely bestest photo of 'The Spirit', taken recently. I wish I had a dollar for every time I have seen her arrive and depart. You simply must click on it to embiggen The Spirit. She travels from Melbourne to Australia's island state of Tasmania across often stormy seas, yet from my observations, keeps very close to her timetable.


Of course I should visit Station Pier for the arrival of a cruise ship and see what actually happens......but that would mean being out and about earlish on a day off, and I don't do that. If R is not home, it is dressing gown until 11am.

16 comments:

  1. I know how important the port and its transport connections are, to newly arrived visitors. Melbourne is my home town, but I have faced the same issues you raised all over Europe.

    Time is critical, if the ship arrives in port at 8 am and passengers have to be back from their touristing by 5 pm.

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    1. Hels, it is important and who well cruise passengers are served by local transport will leave a lasting impression and reflect on the city.

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  2. Andrew cruise ship looks great

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    1. Thanks Gosia. It actually only our ferry, but it is nice ship.

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  3. All too confusing for me. Your room with a view would suit me just fine rather than mingling with the crowds at the pier. But that's just me, I'm not much of a mingler.

    Re the Scottish Doctor...I did have a lengthy appointment with Dr. Chivas back in November on my birthday. A very pleasant visit it was, too. We were straight up with each other the full length of the appointment. :)

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    1. Ah Lee, Dr Chivas is a very kind doctor but he does charge a premium price. The next day you feel pleased you saw the expensive doctor rather than the cheap one that left you feeling poorly.

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    2. True, so very true....as with most things, only the best will do...smooth, smooth...smooth.

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  4. There are many people who don't take their car on board, so these people would need a bus or tram into the city or elsewhere, some would of course have people meeting them then that's a problem where to park for some.
    Nice view from your apartment.

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    1. Margaret, yes, the ferry and cruise ships often arrive around the same time too, making it even busier.

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  5. Good shot of the Spirit, did you take it from your balcony?
    I sloth around without getting dressed too, but don't worry about a dressing gown, that's only for winter. It's tshirt and socks from morning till night unless I have to go somewhere.

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    1. River, yes, taken from the balcony, with a lot of zoom and the camera resting on the railing. I suspect R would ask if why if I did not dress at some point during the day, and I always make an effort go out, even if it is walk around the block.

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  6. Myki cards can be bought ahead on line now can't they Andrew. I guess it takes forward planning and could be a missed detail. I do love to see the huge passenger ships come into dock but you couldn't pay me to go on a cruise on one, especially if there was a possibility of rough seas ☺ PJ days are the best, possibly because they are so rare!

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    1. Yes Grace, they can bought in all states in advance, but only Queensland double refunds you the remaining balance. All online videos of ships in dramatic seas where passengers are badly affected are very old now. New ships are brilliantly stable in the worst seas. It is a nice to not shower and get dressed and feel decadently dirty.

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  7. Youngest daughter sailed out on the Spirit of Tasmania last night headed for university... the start of a big adventure.

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    1. CM, how exciting. I saw the Spirit depart last night as I was watching for the arrival of the broken down cruise liner. Had I have know your daughter was on board, I would have waved.

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    2. PS, is she fleeing the heat? Hope you are coping ok.

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