Friday, September 07, 2007

PT Lateral Thinking

Our state government and its bureaucrats have had their whiteboards out and done some serious public transport planning. Not before time you may think.

Our trains have become overcrowded to the point where no more passengers can get on board. Our trams are starting to slow down from the sheer numbers of people they are carrying, never mind the motor car traffic.

The Age headline says 'Move to Ease the Rail Squeeze'.

The big wigs have been thinking laterally, but how I wish they would think forward.

What are their ideas?

Tax concessions for using a bicycle to travel to work. Well that will ensure some extra money in your pocket if the cost of running a bicycle can be salary sacrificed. A can of chain oil over one year would be ??? If they do nothing, people will be forced to cycle to work anyway.

Running bus services from inner suburban stations to the city. I rather take my chances with the overcrowded train than sit in a bus in peak hour traffic.

Boosting inner city tram services. That sounds good but have they heard of tram congestion? Too many trams on the tracks trying to go to the same place? Add more trams, have more tram congestion. It already seems to worsen by the day.

Reduced fares for off peak travel. The installers of the new Myki system now have the perfect out for not fulfilling their contract on time. The specifications have been altered. Seriously, why was cheaper off peak travel ever stopped? Cheaper off peak travel may very well help and is one of the more viable ideas.

Express buses from stations such as Caulfield and Essendon. They will magically float through the air and avoid the kilometres long bank up of traffic on our freeways and major roads.

But I have a favourite one and it is the most lateral of all the ideas. Take the seats out of the trains so more people can fit on. Aren't we fortunate to live in a first world country? How about some ladders on the sides of the trains so they some people can fit on the roof?

Two hour ticket please- will that be off peak Sir? with or without a seat? interior or exterior? a further discount if you please Sir, if you are not in a hurry and would like to spend an hour or so on a bus.


  1. So it's continuing to be modelled on the UK public transport system, or: why have I been sitting on an immobile train in a dark tunnel for 3 hours?
    The Myki (Oyster rip-off) is a good idea, but I cant understand why they didnt bring this in earlier. It's so much easier than dealing with paper tickets and broken machinery.
    London has just introduced some scheme of free or half price travel for people on benefits - I'm torn on that idea. Still...good principles?
    Final thought: bring back conductors! For public safety, and to keep your revenues up guys. Not just inspectors, people dont seem to react well to being over-policed.
    ps. I'm Australian, not just a Londoner picking on you!

  2. Thanks for the comment Non-Blondie. As time goes on, I am reversing my opinion on conductors. If all the costs of the present system are added up, I doubt conductors would cost much more. I used to read a London blog by a girl who blogged about travelling on the tube and the oyster card. It was very interesting. Winter on its way for you, haha.

  3. That is it, I am going to buy a hore and cart and offer rides into Melbourne..might get there faster by horse right? Chicken and champas brekky with the fare :)