Saturday, 27 October 2007

Railing against CityRail

Now as a non-driver I've always relied on public transport and walking, much to my detriment.

My feet show huge sores that are mocked by car-drivers, and I have been psychologically scarred by exposure to inane meaningless mobile chatter while aboard rail.

Some people have asked me about my refusal to drive a fuel-chugging car. Is it environmental responsibility? The more cynical suggest it may be lack of money and me wanting to imbibe lots of alcohol on late nights out.

In fact it is none of these . It is sheer laziness and incompetence. I can't drive.

Oh and a bit of fear. Who knows what might mappen when you hit the accelerator? Doesn't that mean the car moves fast and then anything could happen couldn't it gosh you could die or worse still you could crash Mum's car and hit the neighbour's cat and never hear the end of it.

These kinds of fears keep me from ever testing the wheel.

So I ride the rail and the buses and let others take my life into their hands. At least they can have it out with Mrs Harris if they run over Mitzy and that is a load off my mind already.

Anyway this dependence on public transport means I am alert to the price of tickets, constantly.

Fares have gone up recently which is disgusting and outrageous stuff.

I am very much in favour of the low-cost ticket, or in fact free public transport.

I think there are many good arguments for this.

Actually there always are if you can get something out of it, however I believe this is a special case. For instance, we already pay taxes, unless your name is Jamie Packer and I think he owns his own private rail system so he doesn't count. So having very high tickets is unnecessary unless you're an incompetent and foolish government.

Oh well they've always got an excuse.

Also, the CityRail experience is not exactly a thing of beauty and a joy forever. In fact it is not even the basic standard I would expect from a Government.

The trains are always late and there is no government-supplied entertainment in the bleak waiting periods. John Watkins really ought to be strapped to a train and see what happens to him. It probably doesn't leave the depot, it stays there because that week was scheduled for trackwork and buses replaced trains "allow 30 minutes extra for travel time please".

After trackwork everything looks worse than when the trackwork started.

The voices which announce train timetables have irritating lilts.

The graffiti in CityRail is unoriginal and unamusing. I have read "Rave naked near a blue light" too many times now.

Train seats are not wide enough to accommodate Australia's obesity problem. Too many times I have got into a train to see a large person plonk down on a threeseater and take up most of the seat, and watch their flab expand over into the aisle. Then they chomp at a chocolate.

It is at the times when I watch this that I think about whether I ought to risk running over Mitzy.

P.S. I have been railing against the trains for awhile, but the writing of this post was prompted by a terrific post by TimT at Fastest Underwear in the West


nailpolishblues said...

Ah yes, the old 'you don't drive? You're not a real boy/girl are you? Isn't it time you grew up?'

In all honesty I'd much rather learn to fly.

What I hate most - aside from the sheer bloody revoltingness of everything - is that the government likes to imagine that people don't use public transport on the weekends. Always a nightmare.

Maria said...

I know, I know, I ought to learn to spread my wings.

I'd prefer to learn to fly too.

Public transport on weekends is vital. It's just that governments haven't caught up with the fact that people have friends yet, because governments don't have them. If governments were people, they'd only sneak out to work in peak hour in crowds to go to work when absolutely necessary, then they'd stay at home the rest of the time sobbing. They'd be real Nigels.

I also hate the fact that no one has really caught up with the fact that people use buses in my area at all. The service is appalling, I tell you. Appalling!

There, that's my hate out, I think, for the morning!

TimT said...

I sometimes feel a bit silly writing so many posts about public transport, but it really is a wonderful source of inspiration and endless grumping. Pleasure to inspire a spot of raillery in a fellow public transporter!

Maria said...

I sometimes feel silly grumping so much about ublic transport TimT, but then I think, if a thing's well worth grumping about, I might as well grump about it well.

A lot.

It's a good justification.

Or at least it's my justification.

Thankee muchly for the inspirational article. Well worth reading.