Friday, April 30, 2010


You know, I can't remember which government decided it would be good for all of us to privatize public utilities. It could have been Lib or Lab but from now on I'm voting Green or a drover's dog, whichever looks more appealing.

Metro, a french company (small f, I know what I'm doing) has control of transport but I believe the government still supplies the infrastructure. HighRiser will tell me if I'm wrong. So why in the bloody hell did they sell anything at all? PUBLIC TRANSPORT FOR TRANSPORTING THE PUBLIC AND IN SOME SORT OF COMFORT. How hard could that be? More carriages, no delays, more seating (the moron that came up with the suggestion to take out the seats for more strap hanging should be tied to the front of a train for a week) keeping to the timetable and more about the seats, why should I have to sit with my knees in some blokes crotch because the seats are too close. If they're short of carriages, then just organise some cattle trucks, it couldn't possibly be more uncomfortable.

Have you guessed already that I travelled on a Metro train yesterday? I would have avoided that except that I was meeting with the lovely Muriels and their gorgeous daughter Charlotte and after exchanging emails for 5 years I wasn't going to miss that.
The 9.09 turned up at 9.18 and more and more people squashed into that train the closer we got to the city. I stood for 40 minutes, holding on, bent into a corner so that if the train lurched then I wouldn't smash my spine on the iron rail behind me.

The journey home wasn't much better. The carriage was full of MacKinnon High students and to their courtesy of offering me a seat, I thank them. Unfortunately by this time I needed to have a little more room to try and move my kneecaps back where they should be so I declined until there was a an aisle seat where I could collapse the legs.

My suggestion is that all government ministers be made to ride the rails at peak hour for the time of one week, every year they are in office.

My other suggestion is that Metro executives should be made to ride the rails underneath the train at all times.

As for Myki, they'll have to pay me to use it. After seeing the surging tide, I can't see where swiping a card is going to do anything except slow the whole system down. My only good report was that my all day concession ticket allowed me to ride two trains and three buses for $5.

As for the Muriels, a delight to meet them and they just love Melbourne but I don't think they rode on a train.


Jayne said...

Oh you lucky thing!
And you got to meet the Muriels and the gorgeous Charlotte!

WV =mythite...the tales we tell in miniature :P

Andrew said...

Pretty right about Metro. A year's worth of research still wouldn't make it clear to me who owns what and who is responsible for what though. I think that is the intention. There is a known shock syndrome, seriously, for people who haven't travelled on trains for a long time, and then catch a peak hour train. They really have trouble coping. I know I did the last time I caught one. I so agree about the removal of seats. Only younger people and train execs say it is a good idea.

Kelly & Sam Pilgrim-Byrne said...

Sorry the travelling bit of our meet up was such a disaster, and you're right, we only ventured onto the trams.

We feel very privileged that you came to meet us.


JahTeh said...

Jayne, I am determined that you will be my next meet, I mean Oakleigh is just down the road and I know I can manage a bus.

Andrew, I knew with a concession ticket to go after 9 o'clock but you're right about the shock. The thought that these people do it every day and I couldn't cope with one. No wonder people won't give up their cars.

Girls, you're better than I am, I'm terrified to get on a tram and you had Charlotte in the pram.
I'd gladly do it all again for the pleasure of your company.

River said...

You met the Muriels and Charlotte and didn't take photos for our viewing pleasure? Shame on you!

Seems transport systems are the same nationwide. Those who travel in taxpayer-funded top-of-the-line cars just don't get it do they? Last year one of our pollies decided to travel by public transport to see what all the fuss was about, trouble was she let them know, so the bus and train were cleaned and an extra carriage was put on the train to avoid crowding and somehow there was an extra bus on the route too.....

River said...

P.S. Melbourne to Adelaide is also only a bus trip.....a very looooong bus trip. I do believe there's a train too.
Oh wait, they travel BOTH ways. Heads off to check timetables and fares.....

Fen said...

These are some of the reasons I gave up travelling on the trains, way too much hassle and heartache in one day for me!

JahTeh said...

River, thanks for reminding me that I have a camera somewhere and it's had a film in it for 12 months. I'd better put it in for developing before it conks out and I haven't a clue what's on it.

Fen, Andrew was right, it was a shock. The travelling I'd done 4 years back was to Frankston in nearly empty trains so to be shoved in with the herd was too much.

Andrew said...

The alternative to the train experience for many is sitting for very long times in traffic. At least you are in your own space, but it can take a lot longer using your own car as against the train.

Middle Child said...

Why do they continually "fix" things that aren't broken and make them far worse?

JahTeh said...

Andrew, it's a mess which ever way you travel but better train services are on top of the list for ordinary workers.

Therese, I'm sure it's written into a government's agenda to fiddle or meddle which ever is going to make the most trouble.