Monday, November 26, 2012

Public Transport Snips

''People's love of rail transport is independent of economic realities,'' Greiner told a lunchtime audience in September last year, quoting the British economist and columnist John Kay. ''The answer seems to be that there is something psychologically irresistible about vehicles on iron roads.''

Yeah Greasy Greiner, and? So people like fixed rail electric transport. Is that a problem for someone? 

(The status quo is a slog: just 19 per cent to 34 per cent of George Street buses currently arrive within two minutes of their scheduled time, according to the Department of Transport.)

If Melbourne trams had figures like that, the private companies that run our system would be quickly sent broke by fines.

The core of Mr Legge’s idea to deal with the current public transport crisis is to extend the same level of service as rail and tram-rich inner city Prahran now enjoys to all of urbanised Melbourne. His vision is that 95% of households would be within 800 metres of a fixed-rail station or stop.

We are kind of Prahran residents. We have quite good public transport access. But oh, how we whinge when we have to wait longer than a couple of minutes for a tram into town. We walk out our door and umpteen trams pass by as we walk to the tram stop. Once, there, we wait and wait. I am sure at least once we had to wait for five minutes. We pay dearly to live where we do, and should get a better service than having to wait five minutes for a tram. I think once I waited ten minutes for a bus. But I don't think it is unreasonable for most residents of Melbourne to be within a couple of kilometres of a train station.

Fifty new trams for Melbourne, a much better service perhaps? Fifty new flash French trams minus thirty Z1 trams to be retired is a net gain of twenty trams.

I suppose that is something.

Seven new trains. I think there are still six old Hitachi trains running. Assuming they will be retired, a gain of one train. 

Well, I don't think a lack of trains is a big problem for our existing train network. 

I am almost wet with anticipation at Premier Teddy's pre election promises. But has he delivered on his last election's promises?


  1. Andrew, NSW's new Opal Card starts trials next week on one ferry route - Circular Quay to/from Neutral Bay. The rest of the rail, bus and ferry network to be rolled out by end of 2015.

    1. Victor, it sounds like it will be a simpler system than our Myki.

  2. Don't get Colin started on public transport in Brisbane. WE are off to town by train today, We haven't done that in a while so it will be interesting. We have to wait 30 mins for a train. (Maybe not in peak hour) Wouldn't it be great if we got everything promised in elections.

    1. Colin8:26 am

      I'll have you know, I had excellent service on the weekend! I am likewise going to the CBD today - the 9.25am (feral free and plenty of seats) - Mme. QLD FLAUNT catches the 9.18am and that is my first blessing of the day!
      I trust you and TOH have a peaceful trip from Kuraby (?). If 01 comes in, I suggest you wait for the next train, 01 is notorious for breaking down. Such fun being stranded on good ole 01!!!!! ha ha.

    2. Diane, a thirty minute gap is a bit too long on a weekday.The things you have got, tunnel, airport rail link etc, don't seem to be doing too well.

  3. I love both trams and trains, but my house is far too far away from a railway station. So trams it must be!

    My problem with the trams is neither frequency or promptness of service, but the crowding. By the time I get on at 8.30 AM, we need oil in there to squeeze in more of us sardines.

    1. Hels, we too are a bit far from a station for walking, South Yarra being the closest, but not much closer than Flinders Street. Roll on the Metro Tunnel. The interval between trams has increased quite a bit over a couple of decades.

  4. Colin3:41 pm

    Oh - the joy, the jubilation of a car driven by Mme. “QLD FLAUNT’ into the car park.
    Right where Mme. is informed, if Mme would look – “Do Not Park Here”, the collection
    truck for the Smith Family Foundation was parked, completely blocking her.
    I was half way up the overhead steps when I witnessed this. Mme. “QLD FLAUNT”
    was right on time to catch her 9.18am – (smirk, smirk).
    Mme. “QLD FLAUNT” seemed to be not amused, but these collectors don’t move for the
    likes of her, and so they continued on their merry way sorting the contents of the container.
    Mme. “QLD FLAUNT” reversed her very clean car at speed and I can only guess that as
    all the car parks would be full by this time, had to drive to wherever she works and pay parking fees – (again smirk, smirk). Her train was on time! Oh dear, what a pity for her!

    As for my journey to the CBD, on the 9.25am – as always “feral free”, plenty of seats and
    the return journey on the 11.07am – again on time and also “feral free”. Must be my lucky day?
    I hope that Diane and “TOH” can report likewise on their trip????

    Now on a sadder note, it is so disgusting that these charity bins are used by despicable people to dump their garbage. Really it is a headache for these collector people.

    1. I share your joy Colin. Marvellous. If they got rid of the bins altogether, people would dump rubbish in their doorways, as sometimes happens now.

  5. You whinge when you have to wait at least two minutes?
    You should probably never move to Adelaide then.

    1. River, then I would look up a timetable and hope that whatever was on time.