Bike parking: the next generation

This caught my eye: a commuter at Aircraft station: ...uses the station five days a week and said she had given up trying to get a park at the station. “Because of the traffic congestion on Point Cook Road and because of the lack of car parking facilities at the station, I choose to walk or to cycle to the stationStar Weekly, 2/4/2019 "No love for Aircraft train station" Aircraft is not uni


The Myki mobile trial is progressing

Last year the government announced that Myki would be coming to mobile phones. Early testing happened late last year, and last week PTV opened up the trial to up to 4000 participants. The technology allows you to load a "virtual" Myki card onto your Android phone within Google Pay, and use it for travelling on public transport. Apparently there are people out there for whom the holy grail o

driving, transport

The desire to drive, and how we must counter it

I am discovering that there's some powerful psychology going on when you get a new car. Playing into this for me is that my old car was wearing out, and was getting difficult to drive, plus the change from manual to automatic. This means the new car seems like a breeze to drive. The "new car smell" is real, and somehow makes it seem pleasurable to sit in the driver's seat. The extra fe


We need better public transport, not free public transport

From time to time the topic of free public transport comes up, most recently because of changes in Estonia. I think it's a distraction from far more important issues. I just wanted to address a few points about it. Apologies for the rambling. Would it be a good idea in Melbourne and/or Victoria? I don't think so. The first point is the cost: the PTV Annual Report indicates around $800 million i


Melbourne’s fares rise above CPI again

As expected, fare rises have been announced to take place on January 1st. It's a rise of 4.7% -- which is CPI+2.5%. (At least, 4.7% is the claim. Some fares, such as a Zone 1 two-hour fare, are rising by more: $4.10 to $4.30 is almost 4.9%, thanks to the price being rounded to the nearest 10 cents... which makes no sense, because you can't directly buy these fares with cash.) Just as this

Toxic Custard newsletter, transport, TV

Sense8’s public transport. Can you name the cities?

I'm always interested to see portrayals of public transport in popular culture. I've been watching the Netflix series Sense8 -- I'm a bit over halfway through it. (And I just realised the Wikipedia article includes spoilers, so watch your step if you're planning to watch it). It's pretty good -- at least, I'm intrigued enough by the story to keep watching. It's scifi, created by the minds be


Farewell MX

Freebie afternoon commuter newspaper MX finishes its run today after 14 years of publishing in Melbourne (and shorter runs in Brisbane and Sydney). Melbourne Express was its awkward morning competitor for a short time in 2001 -- it was never going to last because morning distribution is so difficult. That brand name lives on in The Age's morning updates. Some may mock MX for being overly fil

Toxic Custard newsletter, transport

A quick look through PTV’s 2015 network revenue protection plan

I noticed there's a 2015 version of PTV's network revenue protection plan on their web site. It's a lot less detailed than the one The Age FOI'd in 2010... perhaps because it was intended to be made public. Some points of interest, with my notes in italics: Pages 5-6 talk about the background -- total loss of $51.6 million in revenue in 2014. "Metro Trains and Yarra Trams hold revenue

Toxic Custard newsletter, transport

Handling big events – the real problem is a lack of services

The Herald Sun had an interesting article describing the trip home from the football on Friday night, and the delays suffered by those in the crowd. Apart from the football at the MCG, there was also a concert in the tennis centre, and soccer at Etihad Stadium. Edit: plus rugby at AAMI stadium. In fact an earlier Age story had explicitly warned that the city would be busy. The Herald

Toxic Custard newsletter, transport

The new Dandenong line plan

Last year the Coalition announced they were going ahead with an unsolicited proposal: to upgrade the Dandenong line. In summary, it included: grade separation of 4 level crossings, 3 stations associated with those rebuilt, planning and early works on 5 more grade separations, high capacity signalling, 25 new trains, a maintenance depot at Pakenham, and power upgrades. On Tuesday the Labor gover