Lessons in Public Transport

cc license, das21

What I’ve learned in seven months of not having my car…

1. I really miss driving. I miss both the convenience of having a car and the actual act of driving around. I find it relaxing. I keep thinking about getting a car so I can have my freedom back.

2. Despite my whining, public transport is actually wonderful some days. I like when the bus flies down the bus lane, past stopped traffic in the mornings, or when you want to go out and have a few drinks and don’t need to worry about driving home. The ferry ride from Manly to the city is beautiful. I ultimately save money and never have to look for parking. These are all times that I’m happy being car-less.

3. Sydney buses don’t follow the time schedule. They not only come late (which I would expect) they often leave early or just never show up. I can’t stand when my morning bus the E50 leaves early because it’s mostly commuters who show up the same time every day. It irks me.

4. Technology does assist in making public transport better. There is an iPhone app called TripView that quickly helps you to plan trips in Sydney on trains, buses or ferries. It’s been a huge time saver and great tool since I found out about it. Free Wi-Fi on the ferry ride is another little modern day bonus that makes me smile (when it’s working).

5. Relying on public transport has helped me achieve my goal of daily self-reflection. Last year, Artie Isaac put the idea of taking 30 minutes each day for silent reflection. Thanks to my commute to work I practically have no choice now. I get about two hours each day, if I want it (assuming I’m awake for the morning bus ride). I spent a lot of time in silent thought.

Moral of the story is that I miss driving but it’s not the end of the world and I’ve gotten more and more used to it. I’ll probably move closer to the city (by the trains) at some point and feel even less inclined to make a vehicle purchase. Until then, I’ll see you at Manly Wharf kids.

What lessons have you learned from taking public transport or are you car dependent, like me?


5 thoughts on “Lessons in Public Transport

  1. 1. There’s absolutely no way of knowing which train carriage will fill with school children. So boarding the train at certain times becomes a matter of carriage roulette.
    2. If you get a weekly train ticket from “The City” to anywhere, you can pretty much use it to go anywhere within the inner city area as much as you want for the whole week.
    3. People look at you funny if you dance while waiting on the station platform.
    4. Don’t miss your station if you’re on an express train. Helplessly watching all the stations fly by as you realise you’ll have to stop at each of them when you take a train back to your original destination is truly disheartening.

  2. I grew up in Los Angeles and was sooo looking forward to the break of not having a car for a few years when I was in New Zealand and Australia. So glad I never bought a car in either place! When I wanted to drive, I would just hire one for the weekend. A perfect trade off.

    And in not having a car, I found myself working extra hard to manage my time better, which was great.

  3. I just moved to Austin, Texas and I do not know what I would do without a car down here. Having the freedom to drive around the city and explore different areas is just so enjoyable. A buddy of mine also moved down here and he felt like he was in prison not being able to go where he wanted because he did not have car. Surely it depends on the city and the transportation but I agree that just being able to drive is nice but public transportation could save you quite a bit of money.

  4. heyyyy!

    love that it gives you the chance for self reflection – does that for me too. Especially when i forget my book haha

    driving in sydney definitely does not leave you feeling calm. I think it’s a great thing you’re not driving.

    the sydney girl

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