Courtesy to Random Curiosity

Transport is a way of life. Countries do not operate without transport. We as commuters rely on transport to get to work or school everyday. We use it everyday to continue our busy lives.

Having lived in Sydney for most of my life, transport has always been shocking. Attributed to the size occupied by the whole of Sydney, frequent  public transport is hard to come by. If you wait at a bus stop, you would have to wait up to 1hour for a bus.  And on top of that, the most bus stops don’t display where buses goes so, if you didn’t know the route a bus was taking, you could be well and truly lost. Yesterday, prior to going to Burwood Cityhunter, I alone had to look up 2 bus timetables, and 2 train timetables. Without planning your trip, you can spend alot of time waiting, in the city of Sydney.

Luckily, my parents offered me a lift to the train station. Alot of people tend to drive themselves to the train station, to catch a train. Buses are somewhat unreliable, and come minutes later, which could subsequently mean missing a train, hence making you wait another 10+ minutes for another train.

You could end up waiting longer than 20minutes for a train because not all trains stop at every stop. Express trains run through the minor stations whilst they stop at major ones. Another reason why you have to look up train times before taking one. During 2008, trains were constantly late(+5minutes late). Not that I cared that they were late, hardly catch trains but it bubbled up into the news. My memory on the late train things is a bit blurred. The trains now at least are coming on time, with 2-3minute delays.None yesterday which was perfect.

With the price of petrol creeping over the $1 mark almost all the time, we as should be conscious of the fact petrol is running out and we should be preserving these resource. Though some people have switched from only using their car, to combining it with a train, many are still driving to work even with the rising price of petrol. The inconvenience of public transport still deter people from using it. In an attempt to fix this image, the government proposed a Sydney Metro. This metro would extend to the Hills District that still has no train transport, and would be considerably faster than the current trains system. But as we know, these proposals never actually end up being started, and if it does, it will be finished before the time I move out of Australia. This image neeeds to be changed before we found ourselves out of petrol!

Having only just attained my Learner’s License, I feel detered from driving a car, for a few reasons. I’m very environment conscious, and I like to help it, by helping the world drive one car less. Secondly, car costs are ridiculously expensive. I don’t have much wealth, but I’m already scared of how much you need to do to own a car. Buying one, fixing it, registering it etc. Too much for my lazy self. Thirdly, is being involved in a car accident. Every week in the news, there’s always an accident involving Learner or Provisional Drivers. They either get seriously injurred or die.  Many of these drivers are negligent of the road rules and safety. From preparing for my L’s test, I learnt that accidents inrease by 50% on Thursday,Friday and Saturday nights. Drink Driving. Happens too much over here. Learner drivers are advised to not drive on these nights for their night driving. The incentive for driving a car over here, is not waiting. I don’t like to wait. I’d take public transport more if I didn’t have to wait.

If only trains flew, but not as wildly as this! Image courtesy of Random Curiosity

If only trains flew, but not as wildly as this! Image courtesy of Random Curiosity

I don’t know about transport in other countries, but in smaller compact places, the transport system is more convenient. I’ve been to Hong Kong a few times, used public transport almost everyday to get around. I can say,  I wouldn’t need a car in Hong Kong. To get down from where I normally stay, I catch a mini-bus to the station, wait maximum 10minutes, longer at non-peak times. From the station, I can take the MTR which is underground, to zoom to wherever I want. Train stops every station, with one coming every 5minutes. Or if I want, I can catch a tram, for very cheap price, less than 50c to wherever I want. Or I can catch a normal bus. No need to look up timetables because all the bus stops clearly show all stops. I can also take a taxi anywhere. Taxi’s are cheaper as you place more people in.All these modes of transport are very frequent, require waits of less than 20minutes.

On top of all that, you can pay for all your transport costs(except the taxi I think) by an Octopus Card,which allows you electronically charge money onto it, to use on services, such as transports, convenience stores and evern super markets. All very quick an easy, swipe the card to get onto a bus. This saves alot of time, especially with Hong Kong’s high dense population. Everytime I catch a bus in Australia, every person takes around 10-15seconds to get on, unless  they have a dipping card. Imagine this in Hong Kong. At one stage in Hong Kong, they had people assisting the bus driver take money. Sydney had the chance to have a card like the Octopus card but that technology got scrapped. Stupid much?

A train ticket from Shinkiba to wherever I went.

My experience of transport in Japan is mainly of metro and trains. Though however confusing the train and metro network maps are, the trains come very frequently, just like Hong Kongs. The ticketing system in Japan is different. You don’t buy tickets to a station, you buy ticket for a certain amount, which allows you to get to your desired station. If you change your mind, and want to go a little bit further, you can increase your fare at your destination. Great system I think, but you need to get used to reading and using it.  Shinkansen, how can you say anything bad about it. Literally zoom from one city to another. On the way, sit back, relax, watch the speedometer go very high, look at the views outside the window. You could be seeing Fuji-san if you pass him by. I took a public bus once in Japan, but it wasn’t a great experience when your whole school group of 4o people are going onto the same PUBLIC BUS. It was a hot day too! However, the cool thing about the buses is that they have a money changer, if you need change for the bus. I don’t remember if I paid a bus driver, or a machine.

As you can probably establish the transport system in Australia is inconvenient and just plain shit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I’ve also wondered about the pricing of adult and children tickets. I find it funny that adults have to pay more than children. I don’t see why adults should pay extra to go the same distance as a child. They both use the same service, hence should pay the same. Similarly, it  applies to attractions such as themeparks and aquariums. Adults paying more than children. When we go up to the Gold Coast with my family, we normally go to Dreamworld, filled with thrill rides. These themeparks are differ though, but in my experiences, in a weird way. My parents take us to Dreamworld, but most of the time sit wasting 2-4hours, allowing us to go wild, pumping our adrenaline on the rides. There should be something like an ‘Adult-I DONT DO RIDES’ ticket. I do understand, that children tickets are cheaper, because children can’t go on all the rides. However, Dreamworld is very child friendly and has kiddy rides, to keep the young ones entertained. I even ride the kiddy ones if there’s nothing to do!

There was also the proposal of paying a fat tax for taking planes. Pay extra for being overweight, since weight is an issue when taking planes. I say, introduce it please! I’m skinny so give me a discount =p

How is transport in your district? And how does it compare to Sydney’s?