The “tradies” argument for more roads

The argument for more/bigger roads (particularly motorways) is often that tradies and others need to carry their tools and equipment to jobs, so they can't use public transport. Perhaps that's true, but they are the minority of people on the road. According to a 2012 ABS study, only about 7% of people avoid using public transport (for work or study) because they need to carry tools etc. Anot

Toxic Custard newsletter, transport

Metro Bingo :-(

Given the Flemington/Showgrounds line isn't running this morning, and the Stony Point line has planned bustitution, I'm going to go ahead and declare that we have Metro Bingo this morning due to the storms. And no, it's not much better on many of the roads. Good luck to everybody (myself included, shortly) trying to get to work this morning. PS. My trip in wasn't too bad. Although

Toxic Custard newsletter, transport

10 minute trains – there is a rollout plan – but when will it get funded?

High-frequency trains (all day, every day) are critical for any big city, to ensure large numbers of people can get around quickly and easily. As a PTUA study found some years ago, Melbourne is one of the few big world cities that doesn't have them. To draw an analogy, it's as if outside peak hour, we closed the freeways and highways except for one lane in each direction. To delve into hyper


The Frankston line X’trapolis – are you impressed?

You'd think from the tweets from Coalition MPs this morning that the arrival of the first X'trapolis train in service on the Frankston line was a miraculous huge leap forward for train travellers -- a rocket-powered, laser-guided teleportation device that can get you to your destination in seconds. Great to travel in the new X'Trapolis train on the Frankston line today!

Photos from ten years ago, Toxic Custard newsletter

Old photos from October 2004

I don't seem to have many photos from October 2004 for my post of photos from ten years ago... it must have been a dry month. A slightly out-of-focus photo of the street sign in ACDC Lane, snapped a couple of weeks after it was renamed on October 1st 2004. It's in the news this week because Cherry Bar, located in the lane, has started receiving noise complaints from people who have just moved i

Retrospectives, Toxic Custard newsletter, transport

Five years ago today: A day on the trains

Five years ago today I posted this video: A Day on the Trains. The footage for it was gathered over the space of a month or two in the dying days of the Connex Melbourne Empire in late 2009, and it was designed to capture a few scenes I thought might be changing in the coming years. Obviously some things have changed, others remain the same. Liveries: Connex (Metlink) became Metro (

Toxic Custard newsletter, transport

PTV rail map – latest draft

Since our last exciting episode, PTV have made a number of revisions to the draft rail map. Here's the latest version: (Click to see it larger, and uncropped) As I said back in April, I really like this new design, which better represents how the rail network operates. Changes since that earlier draft that I can see include: Sandringham line at an angle which better reflects geogra

Toxic Custard newsletter, transport

#EWLink’s real cost to Victorians: Could easily be $10b for stage 1

This article by The Age's Josh Gordon last week raises a really good point about the East West Link Stage 1 that needs to be remembered: The up-front cost of $2 billion contributed by the State is not the total actual cost to Victorians. It's also not the construction cost -- long thought to be upwards of $6 billion, but now finalised at $6.8 billion. The consortium building it provides $

Geek, Melbourne, Toxic Custard newsletter

Google Streetview car up close

Last night this Google Streetview car was cruising along William Street outside Flagstaff station. The driver waved back as I took the photo. It'll be interesting to see how long the photos it was (well, may have been) gathering take to get online. Last time it was over a year, but from what I hear they're getting much faster these days -- perhaps a matter of weeks.

Melbourne, Toxic Custard newsletter

Olympic Doughnuts: new sign hopefully less trademark-infringing

As has been noted before, Olympic Doughnuts survived the rebuild of Footscray station. This was apparently so important that the Premier made special mention of it when the new facility opened: The other area that I’ll make a brief comment on is I was out at Footscray this morning as part of the Regional Rail project. And one of the feedbacks we got from the Footscray community and the p