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Public Transport Massacre

September 8, 2009

Okay the title of this post could be a tad misleading. All I mean was that if the public transport system in Melbourne doesn’t get any better, I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a massacre.

I don’t drive, many people ask me why. There are several reasons. Firstly, I don’t really enjoy driving. Actually, I’m kind of afraid of it. I have really crappy reaction times and worry about crashing and killing people. Secondly, most places I go are in walking distance. Except university. Thirdly, considering there’s a tram stop, train station and bus stop all within about 100m of my house it seems ridiculous to drive where I can’t walk considering the cost of petrol and parking. Fourthly, you can’t drink and drive and I know where my loyalties lie.

Unfortunately for me, Melbourne has a dreadful public transport system. For a city this size, you would think it would make it easy for people to get around. But then again, we have bigger problems like the skyrocketing crime rate and the fact that we’re running out of water. Until we fix them, maybe we can’t be bothered with public transport.

Melbourne public tranport is completely unreliable. There aren’t enough services at the best of times, and they are frequently delayed or canceled. When they do arrive they are crowded to uncomfortable levels (forget a seat!) and slow. They are expensive and the ticketing system is inefficient and also slow. Ticket inspectors are rude (especially to tourists) and get joy out of belittling others.

Then there are those that refuse to follow tranpost etiquette. It’s fairly easy I think but most people don’t seem to get it. Wait for others to get off the tram/bus/train before you enter. Leave seats for older people of pregnant women. When your tram/train/bus arrives approach it so as not to make the driver waste time waiting for you to climb aboard. Sit in one seat, not across two. Don’t play your music through your headphones so loud that everyone else can hear.

See, it’s simple. So why is public tranport still so bad?

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