End of year blog clearout

It's the end of the year, so I'm going to clear out some blog drafts, snippets of writing, going back a bit over a year. The Great Australian Transport Dream If the Great Australian Dream is home ownership, preferably a quarter-acre block with a huge backyard, then the Great Australian Transport Dream might be free-flowing traffic everywhere you go, and a car spot right out the front of wherever y

Photos from ten years ago, Toxic Custard newsletter

Old photos from December 2008

My regular post of ten year old photos... The smiley in the sky (first posted here) Tram of the beast (First posted here) The next station is Connex Back when the trams were battleship grey, and they used obscure route numbers like 47. In December 2008 a brand new bike parking cage was under construction at Bentleigh. It would be demolished just 7 years later as part of the rebuilding of


Boxing Day buses at Chadstone: still big problems

Last year I wrote about Chadstone's Boxing Day bus debacle: delays, heavy demand, traffic jams, queues, and not a single additional bus deployed. So, how was it this year? Spoiler: Almost the same. Here's some video, or read on. So I wanted to head to Chadstone to look for a bargain. It'd be crazy to drive and get stuck in traffic, right? Let's do the right thing and take public tran


Melbourne’s public transport patronage since 1947

One final blog before Christmas. PTV published this data some time ago, covering Melbourne's train/tram/bus patronage from 1947 to 2011, but I've added the most recent figures using numbers from the Budget Papers. The data starts just after WW2, with the highest number of trips shown being 587 million in 1948-49. There was a big dip for trams in 1949-1950, and another for trains in 1


A quick skim of the Annual reports

State government annual reports season ended up hitting late this year due to the election. It's usually in September, but this year everything got tabled in Parliament late on Wednesday. I usually like to browse through the V/Line and PTV reports for interesting factoids... Here are some things I noticed during a quick skim. V/Line annual report 2017-2018 20.8 million trips, up about 1.5 million


Bus punctuality stats finally public… well, some of them

The Age's Timna Jacks got hold of some bus punctuality figures via FOI, and published this story last week, which is worth a read: Late every second trip: Life on the delayed 232 bus The data provides a glimpse of something not normally in the public eye. Regular bus users know that some routes suffer greatly from lateness, but the statistics aren't usually published. With Timna's permiss


Fares for short trips now double the cost of Sydney

As expected, public transport fares in Victoria go up from 1st January. This time it's a CPI rise of 2.2% - thankfully not as high as the last four which were CPI+2.5% (budgeted by the Coalition in 2014, delivered by Labor). This takes the standard zone 1 or 1+2 daily fare to $8.80, and the 2-hour fare to $4.40. It's worth noting that for short trips in zone 1, this is now precisely double t

Toxic Custard newsletter, transport

Desire lines: signs of bad design?

Desire lines are where authorities intend for people to go one way, but people (especially pedestrians) quite logically ignore them and go a different way. Often they indicate poor design. Here are some quick examples from my neck of the woods. You have to wonder whose bright idea this was. Try and divert the pedestrians away to a crossing. Why do it? The worn grass indicates not many people fo


Renaming North Melbourne

It's perhaps a minor thing, but... Back in November 2017 the metro tunnel station names were announced, including a new station called North Melbourne, with the current station to be renamed to West Melbourne. After 50,000 submissions, I can announce that the Metro Tunnel station at Parkville will be named… Parkville. Just makes sense.It also makes sense for Arden Station to be called North

Photos from ten years ago, Toxic Custard newsletter

Old photos from November 2008

Continuing my series of ten year old photos... The coal industry trying to pretend they're good guys. I don't know if they even pretend these days... note yesterday Adani announced it would press ahead with its new coal mine, in the middle of a state bushfire crisis -- nice touch. Warrnambool holiday! This was fun. Should go back sometime. Unprotected level crossing somewhere near War