To drive or not to drive?

Driving Cars in a Traffic Jam by epSos.de via flickr CC

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.

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3 thoughts on “To drive or not to drive?

  1. What do you do while you’re sitting in the bus and train? Do you read? Just thinking that if you’re going to have to suffer the extended travel, you could take advantage of the fact that someone else is doing the driving…

    • Good question! Yes, I do read – and I always have an audio book on the go as I can’t read on the bus. Sometimes I’ll flick from audio book back to ‘real’ book when I get to the train, other times I’ll stay listening. It’s not too bad on the public transport, really (!), I just caught myself in a bit of a whingy mood (and the drive home this arvo was really, very, unrealistically, wonderfully quick)

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