Toxic Custard newsletter, transport

Public transport timetables finally in GTFS format

Information is power, so they say. So it follows that good accurate information on public transport services is needed to make the most of them. Back in 2005, before the first wave of Real smartphones prompted by the iPhone, Google launched Google Transit. The idea is simple: with access to all of a region's public transport timetables, people can easily find out how they get from A to B --

Doctor Who, Photos from ten years ago, Toxic Custard newsletter

Photos from March 2005

In my continuing quest to post ten year old photos, I went looking for good stuff from March 2005. There isn't much of interest, alas. It was the month that the new revamped rebooted Doctor Who started -- on 26th March 2005 -- and I did find this photo of Jeremy -- not watching from behind the sofa per se, but close to it. Oh, here's an (official?) tenth anniversary video: Small eggs

Toxic Custard newsletter, transport

Detailed Metro train stats revealed

This morning The Age published more detailed train service data than we usually get to see. Some information is routinely published, but we rarely get an insight into the breakdown between AM, PM and off-peak punctuality, for instance. In some ways the data was no great surprise -- in the first week of March, hundreds of services were altered, including 71 Loop bypasses (City and Altona), and 3

Toxic Custard newsletter, TV

The West Wing and widescreen

This is one of those blog posts which is mostly for my own interest. We're up to the start of season 2 in our West Wing DVD (re)watching. That season 1 cliffhanger is brilliant... only spoilt by the excessively perky end theme music (I love the opening title music, but I've never liked the ending piece, to be honest). The West Wing is one of those shows that lasted across the transition from

Toxic Custard newsletter, TV

SVOD: Stan, Presto, Netflix, Quickflix

I've been pondering Streaming Video On Demand (SVOD) services. The thinking goes like this: Let's say I want to watch Breaking Bad. I've heard great things about it, and I love high-quality long-form drama that good television provides. Blu-ray is the best way to watch this type of drama, for the ultimate in (domestically-available) quality picture and sound. But I don't want to buy all t

Toxic Custard newsletter, transport

Tram changes: Some make sense. Some, it seems, less so.

Via a couple of stories in the last few days, The Age has revealed proposed changes to the tram network, probably to take place from mid-year with the next big round of timetable changes. Some context First, some context. All the changes need to be seen in light of fleet changes, and growing patronage. The load surveys for trams track crowding on trams at the pressure points, specifically

Politics and activism, Toxic Custard newsletter

Down to business: a study in contrasts

I'm not the world's biggest drinker. So last Thursday night after a chat with a PT industry insider over 2 pints and a pot, I was feeling a bit tipsy as I headed home. Waiting at Flinders Street for a train home, I encountered one of the Spring Street state press gallery's Finest and Brightest, and we had a chat on the platform then on the train for a few stops. Hopefully not too many words were

Toxic Custard newsletter, transport

A (rational) conservative view of public transport

I recently read a book I bought a couple of years ago after seeing an interesting article about it: Moving Minds, Conservatives and Public Transit, by American conservatives Paul Weyrich (who passed away in 2008) and William Lind. It's an interesting read, providing a perspective on transport issues which isn't often seen prominently, at least in an Australian context. Today's train read

Food'n'drink, Health, Toxic Custard newsletter

FebFast is over

FebFast is over I think FebFast has brought a change in attitude from me. I'm going to continue to take in healthier snacks with me to munch on at work -- to my surprise, I don't actually mind the taste of raw carrots, and it's been easier to Just Say No to biscuits than I thought it would be -- easier than trying to limit their intake, in fact. Apart from biscuits, I also managed to stay of

Bentleigh, transport

Southland station: now expected to open 2017

I remember when Labor and the Coalition both pledged to build Southland station. It was 2010. I told my kids, who were excited. They were 15 and 12 at the time, just the ages when they were looking forward to exploring the city and suburbs on their own, going to places like Southland with friends. Of course it was the Coalition who won the 2010 election. In 2012 I looked back at progress