Public Transport

Why don’t more people use it? In the face of all the information we have about the changing climate and the advantages of a population using less personal vehicles why are people staying away in droves?

This is just a brief note covering a very few of the problems facing the commuter. It relates to here (Budgewoi) and similar outposts of suburbia but is a sign of lack of consideration that goes into the planning of these amenities.

You have to be tough and determined to use public transport. You should be younger or at least fit and have a thick skin.

It starts with the bus stops. Most suburban bus stops are little more than a lean-to. A tiny roof over a few bits of plastic held up with whatever. Plenty of times forty degree heat, gale force winds and rain are all blasting at the traveler as they await their ride.

Some bus rides can take an hour covering all the stops around the lakes and end up dumping you at the transport hub of somewhere like Lakehaven, Bateau Bay or Tuggerah Wesfield.


Waiting for a bus!

Take Lakehaven as an example. The bus station is a hub of activity on the edge of a parking lot. Like the bus stops throughout the suburbs it has tiny exposed sheds where the passenger has to cross busy roads and is exposed to all sorts of weather. It is crowded and the signs are hard to read. If you don’t know the bus routes you will be forced to duck and weave among the buses and waiting passengers to stand squinting at the tiny signs and barely legible busĀ  time tables. You are constantly exposed to vehicle fumes and air borne grit!

The incredibly tiny islands for each area are often overflowing and leave people standing exposed on the road or huddling under the inadequate awnings of the shopping center.

Despite the fact that thousands of people spend up to hours awaiting buses the nearest toilets are buried deep in the bowels of the shopping mall. There are no cafes or kiosks within sight to rest at. They too are buried within the bowels of the shopping center.To the absolutely healthy and determined it might seem alright to grit your teeth and race helter skelter into a busy shopping center hoping to be back in the short time before the next connection arrives.

It might seem virtuous to face the weather and the primitive conditions and stand about in sweating crowds with sore feet or sit thirsty and unrefreshed before a trip that might be another hour to a station or a walk of a kilometer to your destination.

Traveling by bus can be a hellish experience for the mother with a pram, the elderly or the less than healthy. An impossible experience. It is primitive, brutish and shows a lack of planning and consideration that is breath taking.

Consideration is a simple thing. Having a kiosk or cafe right at the door of transport hub where tens of thousands of people sit and wait might be an obvious thing! I would have thought it obvious.

Having a comfortable, totally covered embarking area in a major transport hub would seem to be common sense.

All of that is barely scratching the surface of the reasons people stay away from public transport in droves and yet politicians scratch their heads and environmentalists miss the point and thus the rewards.

It probably has something to do with the fact that both camps secretly recognize that the existing public transport will simply fail if gets greater patronage. It is choca-block full. Rather than facing that they make the noises to seem to be doing something while praying the discomfort will keep numbers down so the actual physical doing of something doesn’t come up

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