Friday, July 06, 2018

To town



We waited and waited for the stationary trams to clear. I think about fifty minutes later, they did eventually move, but not up Swanston Street where we wanted to be, but via William Street, very slowly. Instead of being a fifteen minute trip, it took over half an hour. We hopped off the tram and onto a following bus at Flinders Street which quickly moved along Flinders and then Queen Street. We caught the a tram down to Bourke Street Mall. Knowledge of your public transport system is never an effort gone to waste.

This photo I think by Matt Jowett.


Oh a minor fire on the roof of a tram at the Arts Centre. I will guess that the power was cut to St Kilda Road trams, and after a long time restored in part so trams could run via the alternative route. The disruption lasted hours. How can this be for a small fire on a tram? The fire is put out by the fire brigade, the tram is towed away. The overhead wires are checked for any damage. Maximum, one hour, but it was hours of delays and diversions. No, sooner than that happened but again Swanston Street tram services were shut down because of a public demonstration.

R bought his Jag jeans that he wanted, 60% off the second pair at Myer. We had coffee and shared a sausage roll at Soul Cafe. No sign of any tram in Swanston Street yet. We walked not far to Bourke and not a sign of tram on that street. Bourke Street tram service is crap. R wanted some parsley for our evening dinner, so we went to the Woolworths Metro shop, and then continued on to Collins Street, and quickly caught a tram down to William Street and a tram home. What a disaster. Yarra Trams, I know you can't do anything about public demonstrations, but the delay in St Kilda Road for the tram fire was absurd. Like hours! Why was that so? And why did Yarra Trams phrase it in announcements as an emergency services request, and not, due to a fire one of our trams. Please, people would have understood the seriousness of a tram fire and being much more accepting of the delay, rather than an emergency service request.

It is an inherent problem with trams. If one stops, then the tram route stops. Buses can get around a broken down bus. But we Melburnians like our trams, the biggest tram system in the world, according to the ABC tv show Think Tank. It rather depends how it is measured. But double track to all destinations, it is the largest. But we had alternatives. We could have caught a Queen Street bus to a stop not too far away from home or the train to South Yarra train station and a tram home.

While we are not rich, we certainly live in a very inner area well served by public transport. We could have just walked to town, thirty minutes to Bourke Street, but we are getting a bit old to do what we used to do often enough, just walk.

24 comments:

  1. Yesterday, on the way home from work, I got stuck in traffic from two fire engines. When they let and I could go by, I didn't see anything to indicate why they were there.

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    1. Mark, they stopped for coffee I expect, never mind everyone else.

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  2. Andrew... You and R are definitely not too old walk 30 minutes to Bourke Street! Just think it would have been your daily exercise all wrapped up early and over with.. Sorry don't mind me, I'm on a mission to make 10,000 steps a day 😀 If anyone knows their public service it's you, so annoying about the delays 😱

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    1. I agree, you're not at all too old to walk, so if the weather is nice enough (not raining) then walk to town and get the transport home only if you are carrying too much.

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    2. Grace, as it was, I did over 7,000 steps yesterday, and that was only when I had my phone with me. I haven't made 10,000 yet.

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  3. We had this last weekend.
    https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/streetcar-car-stuck-pole-spadina-1.4729878

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    1. Ripper Jackie. It looks like the car was somewhere it ought not have been. And more bad news about your new trams, I see.

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  4. I live in the middle of no where. Also known as the country. We have a small grocery two miles away, but the main shopping district is a good 35 miles from us.
    I have a Toyota Highlander (thank goodness!) and I tend to drive everywhere. Especially in the winter when we are apt to have 3-4 feet of snow at any given time.
    At nearly 60, I no longer have the desire to walk long distances. Well I once did, but after neck surgery, I feel I deserve a break.
    I loved it when we lived in West Berlin and also when I lived in Boston, Massachusetts. Great public transportation!
    Recently I got stuck in a traffic jam on a highway. What could be causing all that back-up? A Department of Public Works Truck that had broken down in the fast lane! Instead of just moving the blasted thing, they put a police car with flashing lights in front of it! That is an hour and 30 minutes I'll never get back!

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    1. Maribeth, yes, away from your big cities, public transport is very difficult, even in larger towns. Not good about the jam. Sometimes vehicles are very difficult to move when broken down because of all electronic stuff in them.

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  5. Transport can make or break a city. As you know we have a range of excellent transport options in London but when something goes wrong it can have disastrous consequences. Last month they made major changes to the train timetable throughout the country not just London. It has been horrendous for so many people. Lots of trains cancelled because they didn't have drivers who knew the routes!!!!! The fallout is still continuing today weeks later. I'm glad I am able to walk.

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    1. Marie, I've followed that story and it is terrible. What were they thinking? It was known in advance that it would not work. It should have cancelled. Given the fares English country and commuter belt travellers pay, they should receive a first class service.

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  6. Went out for dinner and was stuck on a train platform mid week for almost an hour. I think someone was struck by a train.

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    1. Bummer, Ad Rad. It is all too common. I understand how people take revenge by not paying in such circumstances.

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  7. I walk less places now but we have pretty good public transport and now I'm never in a hurry.
    Merle...........

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    1. Merle, walking is very good for you. Both you and I should do more.

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  8. My city has just announced an 'improved' bus network. From January a trip which used to take fifteen minutes will now mean a kilometre walk to the nearest stop, two buses, and an estimated time of well over an hour. The reason for the changes? To encourage increased patronage. Hiss and spit.

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    1. EC, I hope you have made your views known. Might you be eligible for half price taxis?

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    2. I did make my views known. As did others. I am eligible for half price taxis - but those trips are limited to a certain distance. My voluntary work is further.

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  9. hissing and spitting along with EC, improvements aren't always as good as they appear on paper planning.
    I would think a fire wasn't mentioned in case it caused a panic exodus from the remaining trams. Probably a build up of over-heated dust or something similar in the airconditioning system.

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    1. River, with changes like EC describes, there are usually winners and losers, but EC's case is extreme. The tram is from the eighties, so no air con. I doubt the tram will be repaired as they are the next trams to be scrapped.

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  10. It was a new Invisible slow speed Armoured vehicle. Do not try to pass them they are thirty feet wide.

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    1. Scary vehicle Vest. Who knows what is contained within.

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  11. I think I"d prefer a tram over a bus. They just sound classy and interesting while buses sound seedy.

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    1. Strayer, while not quite as smooth as a train, they are much smoother than buses, and generally quieter.

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