Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Public transport fares are for rationing -- not revenue

Reducing crowds on public transport - Government - News - Inner West Courier: "THERE may finally be a solution to reduce crowding on public transport.

Prof Corinne Mulley, Sydney University’s chair of public transport, says the state government should restrict non-workers’ concession fare use to off-peak hours."

Mount Druitt Commuters Improvement Group: Male Commuter Calls For All Free Public Transport!

Mount Druitt Commuters Improvement Group: Male Commuter Calls For All Free Public Transport!: "A male Mount Druitt senior commuter is calling for complete public trans, which will bring all cars off the road, less pollution better, more efficient organised transport infrastructure. I do meet different people every day who are quite open to talk to me ,with quite ease. Each person has their own quality of life."

Monday, July 25, 2011

Lifehacker’s Free Public Transport Guide, 2011 Edition

If you’re in the middle of a capital city, chances are you’re not too far from a free public transport service. Find one near you with Lifehacker’s comprehensive guide to free public transport in Australia.

Picture by Graham Lees

This is an updated version of our guide from last year, reflecting the changes that have happened since then and incorporating additional reader suggestions. Most of the free options are heavily geared towards tourists, which often means limited hours in the evening and, in some cases, weekends. Even if you’re a local, free services can be useful when the weather turns nasty.

If you combine this list with our guide to cheap airport transfers, you can enjoy a visit to any of Australia’s major cities without spending a fortune. The links to each service provide detailed timetable information. (Double-check if you’re planning to use one on a public holiday, as many don’t operate then.)


The 555 bus runs in a loop in both directions between Circular Quay and Central Station. The frequency is pretty good — once every 10 minutes. On weekdays, it runs from 9:30am to 3:30pm (extended to 9:00pm on Thursdays). On weekends, it operates from 9:30am to 6:00pm.

Outside the CBD, there are also free shuttle services in Kogarah, Parramatta and Ryde .


The City Circle Tram is Melbourne’s most prominent free option, running every 12 minutes around the outer edge of the Melbourne CBD (both clockwise and anti-clockwise). It runs between 10:00am and 6:00pm Sunday to Wednesday, and 10:00am to 9:00pm Thursday to Saturday. The City Tourist Shuttle bus offers more access to tourist destinations, but is less frequent and slower. It runs every 30 minutes, takes 90 minutes to do a full loop, and operates between 9:30am and 4:30pm daily.

If you’re an early riser, trains in Melbourne are free prior to 7am. However, you’ll need an Early Bird metcard, which is only available from premium stations, and your journey must finish before 7am.


Brisbane offers a pair of loop buses, one for the CBD covering the main area of the city and one for Spring Hill. The CBD loop runs 07:00am to 6:00pm , with departures every 15 minutes. Spring Hill runs from 06:52am to 6:00pm, with departures every 10 minutes. Annoyingly, neither service runs on weekends or public holidays.


Perth has by far the broadest range of free options for any city. With the Free Transit Zone (which essentially covers the CBD, as you can see on the map, you can catch any bus or train for free. Note that the entire journey has to be within the free zone, and that if you want to use a train you’ll need a SmartRider card (since Perth has stations with electronic gates).

There are also three free CAT bus services which operate entirely within the free CBD area: the east-west Red and Yellow services, and the North-South Blue service. Services generally operate from around 06:00am to 07:00pm on weekdays, with frequencies of roughly once every seven minutes. Weekends have later starting times and lower frequencies. Outside the city, there are free CAT buses which operate in Fremantle and Joondalup (though the latter don’t run on weekends). Full details for all the services are handily collected on the CAT information page.


Adelaide’s iconic Glenelg tram is free between South Terrace within the city and the Entertainment Centre, and along Jetty Road within Glenelg. It runs every 7 or so minutes between 8:00am and 6:00pm Monday to Friday, every 15 minutes between 09:00am and 6:00pm Saturdays and Sundays, and every 20 minutes at other times.

On the bus, the 99C runs a loop across the northern half of the CBD from 08:00am to 09:00pm, with services every 15 minutes until 06:00pm and additional services on Friday nights. Weekend services run every 30 minutes. The Adelaide Metro site captures both these options on a single page. Additionally, Adelaide City Council runs the Adelaide Connector service, which covers a wider area (incorporating North Adelaide as well) but with only one bus an hour.


The Fare Free Bus scheme allows free travel on any government bus in the city centre between 07:30am and 6:00pm every day.


The Gong Shuttle runs from Wollongong Station to Wollongong University and back. It operates every 10-20 minutes between 7:00am and 10:00pm Monday to Friday, and every 20 minutes between 8:00am and 6:00pm on weekends.

Know of a free transport option we’ve missed? Tell us about it in the comments. (We’re aware of the various tricks to get extra time on tickets, such as buying after 3pm for a weekly in Sydney to get an extra day, but we want to focus on purely free options here.)

Lifehacker Australia editor Angus Kidman hasn’t used all of these options, but he’s working on it. His Road Worrier column, looking at technology and organising tips for travellers, appears each week on Lifehacker.


Give up your car, get free public transportation

Would you ever surrender your car? We don't mean to trade in your gas-guzzler for a high mileage vehicle, or swap your Toyota Prius for a Nissan Leaf, or even agree to trundling around in a G-Wiz. In this case, we're talking going automotive cold turkey. What would it take for you to make that jump? Would a lifetime of free public transportation do it for you?

Well, this is what the city of Murcia, Spain is offering. The city is trying to lure residents into a unique trade-in offer: turn over your car, and you get an unlimited pass to the city's new public transportation system.

Like many cities in Europe, Murcia has become a constant traffic jam. Car owners are also finding it harder and harder to find a place to park. City planners in the U.S. might prescribe construction of additional parking lots and new highway lanes as the solution, but Murcia is taking this other route. Sound like a deal?

[See story below for more info: Ed]

Autoblog Green

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Trade Your Car For A Free Lifetime Bus Pass (If You Live In Murcia)

BY Morgan ClendanielTue Jul 12, 2011
A Spanish city, in a bid to end congestion, has made its citizens an offer: Give up your car and ride our trolley for free, forever.

Mejor en Tranvia trolley offer

People love their cars. They're willing to maintain a car even when it's expensive and difficult. In the Spanish city of Murcia, which had become crowded with vehicles, the government decided to try to pry people's hands off the wheels by offering a little economic incentive. Not only would you not have the inconvenience of trying to park, you could ride the city's public transit for free for the rest of your life.

To promote the campaign, the city made a series of adorable advertisements showing how unpleasant it is to be stuck in traffic and looking for parking all the time.

And just in case some Murcia residents hadn't noticed how annoying it was to have a car in the city, they also started leaving cars in impossible parking spots, like this one, where the car is forced to sit on two other cars to find a space.

Seeing that, a lifetime trolley pass looks quite enticing. While many cities have campaigns to encourage public transit use, and a few use congestion pricing to help limit the number of cars in the city centers, this is an impressive use of city funds to directly influence how people get around the city. A lifetime trolley pass is probably a minimal cost for the city (though most transit systems are already bleeding money without giving away free fares), but with enough given away, could make a drastic difference in the livability of the city.

[Images: Mejor en Tranvia]

[Hat tip: Springwise]

Follow @fastcompany.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Ten dollars a week too much for privilege of planet earth?

Perversely, part of me wants to see what would happen if the sea levels rise a couple of metres, the coastal cities get swamped, the rainfall dries up, the power goes out, the militias take to the streets. Part of me would love to see these squawking indignant right-to-luxury dickwipes learning how to live in the dust, scraping out dried plants from the earth and hoarding their remnants from the Beforetime. It’ll be a sight if it happens. Dirty red skies will rise up from the ground each morning like a curse. The only creatures that seem to thrive, the cockroaches and carrion birds, will swarm black against the sand and the sunset, rasping dry songs with their throats and with their legs. The water will be gone. The world will not remember ice floes. And for her sins, for ten dollars a week from each and every one of us, Julia Gillard will hang from the garret at the gates of Troy.
Read the whole post on HeathenScripture

Monday, July 11, 2011

On course to suffer global warming of four degrees

On course to suffer global warming of four degrees: "We have already warmed the planet by 1 degree, relative to pre-industrial times, and are almost certainly experiencing an associated increase in costly, extreme weather events to say the least. In Australia, while it is impossible to be definitive about the cause of any single weather event, a list of prime suspects includes last decade's crippling drought, Victoria's Black Saturday bushfires of 2009 and this year's devastating floods.

Not scary enough for some, but as our chief climate change adviser, Ross Garnaut, warned earlier this year, ''if we are seeing an intensification of weather events now, you ain't seen nothing yet''."

MUSC, College of Charleston students and staff to keep getting free CARTA bus fare

The Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA) has struck a deal to continue its transportation agreements with the Medical University of South Carolina and College of Charleston.

This is the sixth year that MUSC has had a partnership with CARTA and the eighth year for CofC of offering students, faculty and staff of both institutions unlimited rides with their organization identification card.

The result is free bus service to these riders, with costs covered by MUSC and College of Charleston.

“Our constant focus is to encourage use of public transit throughout the Charleston area,” said Christine Wilkinson, interim executive director for CARTA. “These two partnerships further our continual pursuit of that goal. We encourage other Charleston area businesses to consider how CARTA can help their employees and staff.”

CARTA also has ongoing partnerships with the City of Charleston, Charleston County School District and Roper St. Francis Hospital.

On average, as many as 65,000 trips per month are taken by MUSC and CofC ID holders. In addition, more than 30,000 riders take the Express routes each month, which are heavily utilized by MUSC and CofC.

“Continuing this important partnership is not only a benefit for our students, faculty and staff, but an investment in the community,” said John Runyon, director of business services at Medical University of South Carolina.

The partnerships offer a number of other benefits, which include:

  • Reduce traffic and congestion in the Charleston area
  • Reduce need for additional parking on campus
  • Accommodating to students and faculty – provides safe travel as well as bike racks for transportation around their respective campus
  • Brings the benefit to staff, faculty and students while increasing ridership and encouraging public transit
  • Increase in ridership enables CARTA to acquire additional federal funding for equipment and upgrades
  • Continuing a strong relationship with two valuable partners and involvement in regular events such as MUSC Green Fairs and CofC Orientation
  • Provides a valuable service to a diverse community