Posted by: Tanmoy Chakrabarti | April 10, 2013

Sydney -III – Public Transport

As I noted in my previous post, we rode the Monorail in Sydney. I heard about Monorail from my father. He took a ride on Monorail when he visited US in late 70’s. The photos excited me as a child and I always longed for taking a ride on one such monorail. I enjoyed our monorail ride though it was brief. In fact, the Sydney monorail will close its operation this year after 25 years of service! I think because it covers only the tourist destination around the harbour, it is unable to meet its cost especially in times of recession. Pity because it indeed was a joy ride.

A world class city always has a good public transport system and Sydney is no exception. The Sydney buses are simple looking and run on natural gas. However, I understand the service is very good. Unfortunately, the bus 311, which we needed most time and again did not have the greatest of service. It may either be due to the holiday schedule during Easters or may be because of the traffic it is difficult for Sydney buses to maintain the timetable. The Auckland buses in comparison to Sydney buses are good looking and maintain their time. Having said that, in Auckland the buses don’t go to half the places you want to go! Still, we like travelling on the Auckland buses and wish that they cover more areas than they already do.

Coming from India, I have a special place in my heart for trains. I always hope someday I can ride good trains in Europe or Japan. New Zealand has trains and the train ride is quite scenic and comfortable, but those trains are neither fast nor cheap. Hence, I was looking forward to the Sydney train ride so much. It was Sunday and our helpful hotel manager suggested we buy the “Sunday Funday” tickets which means – if you have a child with you, the ticket prices are only A$2.50 for unlimited rides on trains, ferries, buses and trams. That was excellent. Though our initial plan was to travel quite a long way on the train but we restricted ourselves keeping in mind the time that we had at our disposal. Accordingly, we took just a 10 minute train ride from the nearby King’s Cross station to Central station. This was our first travel on a double-decker train.

After the train ride we used our “Sunday Funday” tickets to take a fairly long ride on the train. Now, I seriously never understood when a lot of the modern cities are developing trams and acknowledge their presence as useful, why in Calcutta we could never sustain them properly.

Oh yes! We took the ferry ride too. The Sydney ferries are much larger than Auckland ferries.  We took the ferry from the Central Quay to Manly beach, one of the most popular beaches in Sydney.

Certain things don’t change. I know this may not be exciting for many but I am happy personally that my fondness for public transport goes back a long way.  

 

Monorail

Monorail

Water Taxi

Water Taxi

Sydney Ferry

Sydney Ferry

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