I’m going crazy round in circles with this one. I started a new job a few weeks ago, at the University of New South Wales. Now, most Sydneysiders will know that UNSW is very convenient to the Eastern Suburbs but that everyone else finds it a real pain to get to! Yes there’s express buses from Central Station and yes they run frequently and pretty efficiently. I think for me the problem is the mode transfer – I travel to Central by train, then change to a bus. In reverse, I get a bus directly to Central then a train home. My actual travel time is about an hour in total, give or take a few minutes and this is pretty good for Sydney. Really, it is.
Herein then, lies the rub. As bus travel is dependent on traffic (!!) I can find myself arriving at Central in time for a train… or…. just missing one which results in hanging about waiting up to 20 minutes for the next one. Not cool.
This is NOT a rant about Sydney public transport. I’m pretty tolerant of public transport, I think we get a great service out to our part of the ‘burbs and I don’t mind catching it, really I don’t. It’s more that there’s always something I’d rather be doing than travelling to and from work. Work is good (very good in my new job) and home is great – I just wish I could get from one to the other QUICKLY.
Driving is a whole other story. If I drove to work I would do a more or less 8am to 4pm day, as that puts me on the edge of peak hour and if there are no hold ups, I can do the trip either way in 45-60 minutes. There’s so many problems with doing this though – it sits badly with me environmentally because there’s a perfectly acceptable public transport alternative, I would spend a fortune in petrol (the alternative is to buy a new, smaller car) and of course I would have to pay for parking (although that’s really pretty reasonable). In addition, when there IS a hold up in the traffic I’m like a caged tiger – I really, really hate sitting in traffic….. (see earlier comments about there being many things I’d rather be doing than travelling to and from work).
So why do I even consider driving when there is so much not going for it as an alternative? Because today I left my desk at 4.15pm and walked in the door at home at 5.05. Today there was no traffic, I had a dream run and I can indulge in a few ‘what ifs….’.
Tomorrow I’ll be on the train.