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What are the best and worst things about public transit in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia? How could it be improved?
This is a subject of acute interest to many a Melburnian.
- Overall, reliable. Yes, when it falls over, it falls over horridly; but considering how much of the infrastructure is 150 years old, it is bearing the load remarkably well.
- Reasonable coverage, given it’s 150 years old. So long as urban development followed the train tracks, which was the case until a decade ago.
- Overcrowding; if you’re in Zone 1, don’t even bother boarding a train between 7:30 and 9.
- Chronic underinvestment. I for one welcome our new Chinese overlords; at least they understand infrastructure. (And they don’t have federalism as a mechanism for everyone to dodge the responsibility of infrastructure.)
- If you’re in exurbia, particularly in the Western Suburbs, you’re shit out of luck: the train network is radial, not tangential. In fact, real estate agents in the Western Suburbs are reportedly told not to even bother showing clients a house, if it’s not 10 mins away from a train station.
The lack of a train connection to the airport is unfortunate, but not the worst thing possible.
- More money. And none of this bullshit federal/state nonsense. Take Tony Abbott out with a projectile tram if he ever comes into power again.
- More longterm thinking. I hope the new central tunnels are part of that.
- More tangential connections. Good that money is being poured into more central connections, I guess, but exurbia is tumbleweeds, and radial connections only get you so much 50 km out.