Thursday, July 5, 2012

Eco-friendly Transportation

Husband and I did better on the CO2 emissions from vehicles in Sydney than we do in Adelaide. We live out in the mortgage belt where public transport has not kept up with population growth. Each time services are cut, ours are the ones hit the hardest. My local IGA is within walking distance but anything beyond that calls for a car trip. Husband is a sales rep so he does a lot of driving around. Being away gave us a break from that.

I flew to Sydney by myself. Of course when I booked my ticket I made sure I bought the carbon offset option, as well. Upon arrival – because I didn’t really know where I was going – I took a taxi to the apartment. I had a charming taxi driver who ripped me off big time. This was my third trip to Sydney in five years so I have a fairly good idea of how much it costs to go from the airport to the city and he charged me double. I’m not sure how it happened but it put me off using taxis. Husband flew in next day and didn’t get ripped off. That’s probably because he goes to Sydney so often he told the driver exactly how to get from the airport to the apartment.

Our apartment was near Chinatown and Darling Harbour, as well as the World Tower shopping centre. That being the case we didn’t need to use any transport to get to Madame Tussaud’s, the Powerhouse Museum or the supermarket. On the evening the children performed at the Opera House we caught a taxi there and back. The day we went to Sydney Tower we caught the monorail and then walked back the apartment – with aching legs! Husband did the walk twice since he left his camera behind and had to walk back to try to find it. The good news is that some honest person handed it in to the Concierge. I didn’t mind the idea of losing the camera but I was mortified to think we might have lost all our Madame Tussaud’s pictures. We took a taxi to see the children perform at Angel Place but had a lovely walk back to the apartment. By that time there was a small improvement in the condition of the legs – either that or they’d gone numb.

The day we left we took a shuttle bus to the airport. That was quite an adventure since the driver was obviously mad as a hatter. She swerved in and out of lanes, swore at other drivers and pedestrians and nearly took out one of the latter. That being said, the pedestrian didn’t have right of way... The shuttle was cramped and uncomfortable. I nearly had a panic attack but chose to try to view it as an adventure instead. Nevertheless, I was relieved to make it to the airport alive. Part of the adventure was a young tourist chatting up the girl next to him. That’s fine – they were both young back packers. I certainly did my share of chatting up young men when I was a young traveller. However, his voice was really loud so everyone on the small cramped shuttle got to hear all about how he said pop instead of soda and had failed a uni paper due to wrong sub-classifications. Riveting stuff.

The next time I go to Sydney I think I’ll try the train from the airport to the city...


1 comment:

  1. Ah, yes. The big "hub" city where I live is San Diego, one of the most expesive markets on earth. The farther out you get from the metro area, the more reasonable the housing becomes. In a direct corallary, the farther out you get, the less available public transit becomes. You're either affluent enough to drive the six-figure hybrid, or living far enough out (like me) that a bus trip with its three transfers is measured in days, not hours. Then the city fathers (and mothers) constantly whine because nobody rides the bus. They won't upgrade the service because the ridership doesn't justify the cost, and nobody rides it because in its present state, it serves the needs of no one. Perfect Catch-22. Wonder if that's the same everywhere...

    Great job treating your bus ride as an adventure. That's the best policy for anything that isn't causing physical pain. The difference between being lost and a pleasant ride in the country is the attitude you bring to it!