Friday, August 31, 2012
Off The Rails
As a follow-up to my previous posting about plans for a "fantastic" new rail line here, check out this page: it just got truly fantastic. The article points out how if the figures provided were to be believed, this new line will basically be the fastest metro line in the world . . . only it can't be. The figures are bogus.
More importantly, it seems to me that there is some sort of local fiddling going on in certain areas of North Shore. . . .or am I imagining it?
From memory, earlier there was supposed to be a fantastic new dedicated pair of bus lanes to Rouse Hill which cost a heap of dough to build - only it doesn't work because somewhere along the way the dedicated bus lanes disappear, the buses are jammed in traffic same as every other mug in his car, and make the whole thing a very expensive joke. When it was being built, amazing fast commute times were claimed which then turned out to be fairy floss.
Now we have a railway line that will make those bus lanes look cheap - it includes 28 kilometers of tunnels! - and once again the quotes make it seem amazingly good- in fact, too good to be true.
At one time I think there were weird people imagining that maybe I was allergic to petrol or something: they just didn't get the idea that I can't afford a car and don't want the expense.
Several years ago I promised myself that when I made over $800 a week I would look at buying a car: well, that was then, now the costs have risen and I still don't see where I will gain from pouring so much of my hard earned into a gas buggy. Freedom? Are you kidding me? Have you seen the cities of the world lately?
Actually, having a car is pretty much a religion of modern western life - and I am wary of all religions. It never ceases to amaze me how people will get themselves into debt just to have a car they can impress people with. Maybe I'm the alien, but I don't care about impressing fools with things I cannot afford.
According to the NRMA website the cheapest car, a Hyundai, costs $178 per week in total running costs. I just don't have that - or to be exact, if I did buy a car and was paying out around $200 a week for something better than the worst, I would need another job or a payrise, and I am not poor either.
I have plenty of other more worthwhile things to spend that $200 bucks on.
Sure, public transport is not so great: but it also has an important lesson for people - all those other folks on the bus or train are your neighbours and fellow natives. If you always drive around in metal and glass box, you won't see as much of your fellow man as I do.
Do I like it? sometimes it is a trial but then it costs me a lot less and it seems to me less stressful than driving.
Eat more crow, folks, and as Joe Friday might say, "Just stick to the facts".
Time 5:57 AM