transport

My smartcard collection – I’ll report on Opal soon!

Here is my collection of Australian public transport smartcards. The ones I'm missing are Adelaide, Canberra and Tasmania -- all of which have been introduced since my last visits there. Notably Perth's SmartRider is the only card that is blank on the back, which is why the card number (which I've blacked-out) is on the front. Some friends and family have also given me cards from over

transport

#HighSpeedRail may not happen anytime soon, but it’s critical that the corridor be reserved

The Phase 2 Report from the High Speed Rail study was released last week -- predicting that although HSR would cover its recurrent (running/maintenance) costs, it'd first take some $114 billion and 45 years to build it. As I've said before, I think a 3-ish hour trip from Melbourne to Sydney would be time-competitive with flying. $114 billion is obviously an incredible cost, and taking decade

transport

My dad and the Brisbane PT campaign, circa 1951

I was interested to see this post complaining about Brisbane bus services to the University of Queensland. In this Courier Mail article it appears that the most overcrowded bus services in Brisbane all serve university precincts. My dad was editor of the UQ student newspaper Semper Floreat in 1951. UQ has recently put many (possibly all) old editions of it online. To my surprise and delight,

Brisbane 2011, transport

Buses, trains, and bus ways

Today's Movember update here (I'll post the latest pics to the blog every 2-3 days.) A lot of people express a preference of trains over buses. I suspect it's mostly about ride quality. Railed vehicles are generally going to be smoother than tyred vehicles. And there's also perception of permanence (and in Melbourne, perception of service quality, since trains and trams all run until midnight e

Brisbane 2011

Brisbane day 6 – heading home

Thursday 6th October Alas, the day came to depart Brisbane and head back home. Perhaps it's inevitable these days that travelling interstate pretty much requires setting aside most or all of the day just for the journey. I suppose it's a consequence of modern air travel, which requires getting to and from airports, and lengthy check-in times. (Plus my preference for flights at civilised time

Brisbane 2011

Brisbane day 5 – Surfers Paradise

Wednesday 5th October The first job was to return the hire car. Similar to the circuitous route filling it up the night before, due to the one way streets, this involved a 750 metre drive (Google Maps estimated time: 4 minutes), and then a 170 metre walk back (estimated: 2 minutes). Turning out of Raff Street I also needed to remember the counter-intuitive instruction to Keep Right. The plan

Brisbane 2011

Brisbane day 4 – can you identify the animal?

Tuesday 4th October It was time to go bush. We picked up a booked car at Europcar (around the corner from the hotel, though it turned out Thrifty was also close-by) and after some negotiating of central Brisbane's one way streets, found the Pacific Motorway. One way streets don't affect one as a pedestrian, but certainly make themselves obvious in a car. It's not something I think about in M

Brisbane 2011

Brisbane Day 3

Monday 3rd October Day three in Brisbane, and it was time to get to the whole point of the trip: to visit my Dad's memorial bench at the University of Queensland. After waiting for my Uncle Frank (Dad's last remaining sibling) to arrive (his bus was delayed), we headed down Adelaide Street to find the 109 -- not the 109 tram I'm more familiar with, but the 109 bus to UQ's St Lucia campus.

Brisbane 2011

Brisbane day 2

Sunday 2nd October We started off with a walk around Brisbane's CBD, heading down and around Queen Street Mall to look around the shops (nothing staggeringly surprising). Being the PT geek that I am, I guided us down into one of the underground bus stops I'd encountered on my only previous visit to Brisbane in 1988, when they must have been relatively new. Back then I seem to recall the routes

Brisbane 2011

Brisbane day 1

Saturday 1st October It's probably almost inevitable that when leaving on an interstate holiday, you will head for the airport and reach the point of no return before remembering some vital thing you've left behind. In my case, it was medication -- sitting on the bedside table at home -- which is prescription-only and for which I didn't have the paperwork. Happily I was able to convince my sist