Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Wed-Fri 15-17 March - Perth

In Perth again this week.

It wasn't planned this way, but it's worked out quite well because I'll miss the first few days of the Games commuting chaos. As it happens I'm pretty comfortable with the plan to catch the train in and cycle home... wonder if I'll have the commitment to make that a permanent arrangement...?

I received a response from the weasel Batchelor's department to an email I sent reminding him that he'd been promising us the public transport system was fine and would cope with the Games - I pointed him to this blog entry. The response included the following statement "Around 30,000 extra public transport services have been scheduled for the Games period, including more than 700 extra train services on the metropolitan network." Do you think he knows that we know that all of these additional services are outside peak hour, so will not help commuters at all? Perhaps he thinks we're all just too dumb to realise?

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Tue 14 March - Games week...

Well here we are with just one day to go. The media's doing its best to whip up some Games fever, but we all know deep down that Melbourne would've had the 1996 Olympics if we hadn't been sold out. And the Commonwealth Games really are a pretty poor substitute.

We'll pretty soon know whether the public transport system is going to collapse under the strain, or whether people will heed the dire warnings and settle into their bunkers and watch 200+ hours of the Games on their new plasma TV screens.

The 07:14 is more or less on time as I test Plan B...

OK, the big mystery about Plan B is revealed... the plan is simply take the pushie on the train to work, then ride home. I figure the early trains should be pretty right, and cycling home will be around the same time as the train, but probably more reliable. I've been going out in the mornings for the last few weeks to build up the stamina. Today was planned to be the first real attempt at it.

But I end up at Prahran Station doing photos with a photographer from The Age. There's a possibility of a story coming up so we decide Prahran is a good spot for the pictures.

With an exquisite sense of timing and just a touch of irony, Connex announces that the 18:19 from the city is running six minutes late - the photographer wants to include a train in the background. Predictably when it does arrive it's packed solid - couldn't have gone better if we'd planned it! A couple of minutes later an empty train crawls through and a couple more minutes later the 18:31 pulls in very lightly loaded. I let it go, without thinking that I could've jumped on board. Oh well, I need the exercise.