What do I have to say?
王亚鹏 on From a subsystem perspect… chen on Walking Managment 时间停留♂ on 吃大便经济 Unknown on 吃大便经济 Cheryl on 资本主义经济危机的实质、根源和周期性（转）
What do I have to say?
Public transport plays a part in defining a modern city from an oversized country town. In recent two years, there has been a resurgence of public interest in transport policy all around Australia. The demand for improving public transport has never been stronger. In just finished 2006 Victoria state election, public transport has been one of the political battlefields.
A common myth is that people expect smaller places would be easier to explore. Not always so. The perception is generally true if you explore with a car, where moderate scale and more relaxed traffic are very helpful. However, it may not be the case if you were to explore by public transports. Frequently, MRT systems in bigger metropolis are easier to use for explorers. Public transports in smaller towns may not be as convenient.
Of the two places concerned, public transport assumes a more important role in Melbourne. Melbourne has a multi-mode public transport system consists train, tram, bus and taxi. 10% of all daily travels in Melbourne were made by public transport. The backbone of such a system is an extensive urban rails network. The tram network is also extensive, and is better placed to meet short travel needs in inner suburbs. Bus network serves where the rail network is absent. On a typical working day, Melbourne public transport system attracts just over a million patronages.
It seems to be a consensus of Melbourne public transport users, that since the public transport operation was privatised, the service standard has gone downhill. Commuters have suffered more frequent delays, cancellations and over crowding despite the year on year price increase.
Looking back a hundred years, except for the city loop, Melbourne rail network map today has not changed greatly with the rail map of 1900. None of the major train line was added in the last century. The train services in Melbourne today have less frequency and attract less patronage compare with 50 years ago, even Melbourne now accommodates a much greater population, and per capital travel increased.
Adelaide has all above modes of transport. Not bad for an Australian city of this size. The backbone of the public transport is bus. Adelaide rail network is much less extensive than what exists in Melbourne. Adelaide only has 5 train lines and they are not made to good use. Melbourne commenced electrification in 1919. Adelaide’s rails have not been electrified until now. Talking train services alone, I would not be surprised if daily patronage on Melbourne train system turned out to be 100 times more than that of Adelaide.
Tram is my favourite mode of public transport in Adelaide. They are more frequent than the train. Because they do not share road with cars, they are more reliable than the bus, and run faster than most trams in Melbourne. The trams in Adelaide could get longer than their trains. Most trams have two carriages, while some train has only one. Adelaide’s public transport system has gone downhill even further. Adelaide uses to have a more extensive tram system. Sadly, most tramlines have been wiped out. Glenelg line is the only line survived. Now people start building a tramline extension in the heart of city.
The upside of Adelaide is obvious: The transport is less crowded. You are more likely to have a seat, thus make the trip more comfortable. It may stop closer to your destination. And because the size of the city it may take shorter time for entire trip, if you plan ahead. The downside is frequency, ease of use and full time availability
The “100 times” patronage difference for train makes differences. In many Melbourne suburban streets, you will find signposts showing direction of nearby train stations as well as distance. Except the signs on the platforms, there are generally no road signs direct you to a train station in Adelaide. In Melbourne there are about a dozen standard sized signs showing the name of the station on every platform. That is a lot of signs for muti-platform stations. And they are all well lit at night. Most train stations in Adelaide have only one or two signs showing the name of the station. They can be small and may not be well lit at night. It could be a struggle to find them at nighttimes. After 7 pm, there is only one service per hour on each line, and most stops will have no more passengers than the number of signs.
For total travel experiences comparison of the two places, the comparison of train riding in Melbourne with bus riding in Adelaide might be more appropriate. While all modes of public transports have their own characters, studies show train is the only mode that can beat private transports over long distance. Personally, I am also in favour of train riding experience. In a train station you can sit down read something or just relax, if anything shows up you cannot miss it. At a bus stop, you have to keep scanning the busy traffic for something may or may not turn up on time. You risk missing the bus if you start reading. Also, when you are onboard a bus you need to judge when should you press stop. As bus stops passing by so quickly, you risk missing your stop, even lose concentration for a few seconds. It is more common to read onboard a train.
Ticketing in Adelaide is not zoned. That makes some long distance travelling in Adelaide cheaper than in Melbourne. On the other hand, Adelaide does not have unlimited monthly or yearly tickets. Heavy users do more than 400-450 trips per anum will be better off with Melbourne’s capping tickets. The higher marginal cost in Adelaide, discourages the use of public transport as a complete car replacement. For people have access to private transport, public transport will more likely be used as complementary solution, when long-term parking is costly. Look forward to 2007, Melbourne is expected to abolish zone 3 and introduce smart card ticket.