Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Public transport ...

I decided to take public transport today to my new job.  This was mainly based on the fact that parking in the area is $3.15/hr!?!

Now I've not taken public transport to work for at least 10 years, maybe more, and the aim of today was to see how challenging it would be and whether it was going to be a practical way of getting to work. My hope was for a 'yes' answer (see cost of parking above).

My plan was to drop the girls off at school, go to the library to pick up some reference books I had ordered, head to the train station to discuss the pros/cons/method of buying a 'smartrider' (multi travel ticket), catch train, go into city, catch bus, go to work.

Well dropping off the girls went fine, as did the visit to the library.  However it was at this point that things started to go wrong.

You don't buy multi-travel tickets at the train station!?!  You buy them at local chemists or similar.  So, as I was already at the station I decided to buy a 'Day Tripper' pass (valid for travel after 9am - which it now was just) and AS IT WAS PRINTING OUT an announcement came over the PA that there was an issue with the Perth station and therefore the train was going to terminate at Cannington and we'ld all have to switch to buses.

Too late to change my plans now (well the "Day Tripper" was $9.30) so I hopped on the train and had a pleasant air-conditioned trip to Cannington.  Off the comfortable train (our trains are pretty nice) onto an old bus :( ... for a long and winding trip via all of the train stations into the city.  Now trains run very fast but buses don't.  It seemed to take forever to get into the city.

The bus driver then went 2 blocks passed the Perth train station, where he was supposed to drop us off, and then stopped in the middle lane of a three lane road for us to disembark.  Skirting around the cars I managed to get to the pavement.

I then walked back the two blocks to get to the bus stop I needed just as the bus was pulling out :(  However the electronic display indicated that the next bus was in 10mins - not bad.  Except that it counted nicely down 10 ... 9 ... 8 ... all the way to 2 and then stopped.  It stayed on 2 for 10 minutes ... then down to 1 for another 5 minutes.  Eventually the bus turned up.

The bus trip was quite pleasant and I reached my stop without incident (and a nice chat to a guy from a competitor of the company I'm working for).  It was then a short 700m walk to the office.

I think I got to the office around 11:30am (I didn't check my watch until 11:45 by which time I had sorted myself out).

I'm hoping that my next foray on public transport goes smoother ....

5 comments:

Old Windways said...

This is part of why I have rarely used public transit since I left school, even though I live near a city with a fairly extensive subway, bus, & commuter rail system.

My first job out of college was in an office overlooking a commuter rail station, so in theory it was a great location for public transit. In reality I would have had to walk a mile to the subway from my apartment, ride the subway half a dozen stops into the core of the city, switch subway lines to ride 3 stops out to the commuter rail hub, and take a train 4 stops to station next to my office. Assuming more or less perfect timing and no delays, just under 90 minutes each way. Or I could hop in my car, drive 5 exits on the highway and be at work in 15 minutes even during rush hour.

Heck, it was easier and faster to ride my bicycle to work than to use public transit on days when the car was in the shop.

Old NFO said...

When you do PT, you are at their mercy... And how much is your time worth??? Not to mention the ability to respond to a family emergency if you need to??? Will your company pay parking? I'd ask!!!

Julie said...

That's insane Old Windways - 15mins Vs 90mins ...

Jim I did ask. The company does have allocated car park bays but they're given to the account managers who surprisingly enough are only in the office occassionally!!! People who are office based don't get one !!! And no, there are no free (or should I say, "unallocated" ones).

Christina LMT said...

Wow.
It takes me an hour door-to-door to get to school using public transpo, though I do need a ride to the subway station (about 10 minutes or so away, too far to walk unless I want to take FOREVER). It only takes 20 minutes to get to school by car...on a Sunday at 4 AM. Otherwise the traffic is HORRENDOUS, because I live north of Boston and my school is south-ish, and it could take me well over an hour by car. Add tolls and the $6 per day parking, and it just makes sense to use the subway system. I'm able to get a discounted semester unlimited pass for the subway and local buses, thanks to being a student. And I can read on the train and don't have to deal with road-rage.:)

Morris said...

Julie, you sure picked the wrong day to try public transport :)

I drive to work from Como to Midland every day. It usually takes thirty minutes but took 45 yesterday while that was all going on.