Monday, November 23, 2009

Travel Options

Since I changed jobs I have had more time on the public transport system in Perth. It is a pretty good system really, the trains are on time most of the time and the rolling stock is new.

I get the 8.10 from Warwick and get off 15 minutes later in Leederville. Off along the walkways and bicycle tracks and I can be in my office in West Perth by 8.40. It is a pleasant walk -this morning I rejoiced in the views of the blue Jacaranda trees in Leederville.

I park the car at Warwick for $2 and the train fare is roughly $3 each way. $8 per day ($40 per week) is not a bad price.

I also get a car park about once per week at our office in West Perth -and then I leave home at 8.10 and I can usually be parked by 8.30 am. The car is comfortable and I arrive at work refreshed -but I have had no exercise! Having the car at work is good if I need to travel to a meeting that is hard to get to by public transport or too far away to take a taxi. If I need to carry anything heavy it is good too.

The car travel used to cost me somewhere between $40 and $50 per week, depending on the cost of petrol, so the saving using public transport is not huge. However there are lots of hidden costs with the car -insurance and registration and maintenance and depreciation and so on. Then there is the cost of the road system and the cost to the earth of all of that carbon being vented into the atmosphere.

I was reading recently that some experts believe that we have already found all the commercially viable deposits of oil and that production is already in decline. In time this will mean that price of petrol will have to keep on going up -and at some time the public transport option will begin to make more obvious economic sense to the average person.

I know many people who do not know how to catch public transport -they don't know how to buy a ticket or read a timetable. They drive their cars day in day out. If we are to live more sustainably on the earth, we are going to have to deal with our transport choices.

How do you get around?

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