Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Expat Observations: Public Transport

Melbourne has a lot of different public transportation options ranging from trains to trams to buses. Complaining about public transport is a favorite past time of many people, but I actually don't find the system to be that bad. I will note that I live in the inner city, so my experiences are quite different from those living further out. However, for someone who has grown up in California where a car is a requirement if you want to get anywhere, I love being able to hop onto a tram or train to get around town. In fact, I have managed to live here for 10 years without needing to own a car. That would not be a possibility back in the States.

The one thing I do find annoying about the network is that its design means all modes lead in and out of the CBD. Trying to get across town, especially in the northern suburbs, is a big pain and I often have to travel in to the city and then switch lines to go back up. While there are bus lines that go across town, they don't run that frequently (or at all late at night).

Overall though, I really can't complain as things are fairly reliable most of the time. One exciting development is that starting next year there will be all night public transport on weekends. This will be great, especially for getting home from those late night gigs I attend. Melbourne also even has an award winning public safety campaign around trains called "Dumb Ways To Die." What other public transport system can claim to have a catchy song and online game in app stores?

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