Saturday, November 26, 2005

Games on public transport

A grown-up version of tag has 'detectives' chasing the 'suspect' around the city on public transport and using mobile phones to give clues. Developed by Toronto graphic designer Joel Friesen, it's called Live Action Scotland Yard (L.A.S.Y.).

L.A.S.Y. has reached high geek status, as testified by mention in Slashdot. Participants have also been warned to prepare for a season of Live Action Super Scotland Yard in 2006.

Closer to home, finding places rather than people is the object of the Metlink Challenge. Sponsored by Environment Victoria and Metlink, it teaches secondary students how to reach places by public transport.

Then there's those who aren't interested in chasing anyone or going anywhere in particular. I'm referring to transport enthusiasts, sometimes known as 'gunzels'. A favourite sport has been to travel a city's entire suburban rail network in a day. In Perth or Adelaide this is simple but it's harder on the larger systems of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Detailed timetable planning, knowledge of buses, on-time running and some lucky connections are all required. Melbourne Scribe did it several months back and an account may still be on his blog.

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Thursday, November 24, 2005

Inquiry into Managing Transport Congestion

The Victorian Competition and Efficiency Commission is conducting an enquiry into managing transport congestion.

Suggested ways to manage congestion are many and varied. The road lobby wants more roads, while opponents say that this is like curing obesity by loosening one's belt. Another, promoted in Melbourne 2030 (though not backed by substantive projects) is to shift more car trips to walking, cycling and public transport. We can also design our towns and cities better to reduce the need for long trips, encourage more to work from home and consider congestion levies, tolling roads or paying more for parking.

Then there is debate over whether congestion is as big a cost as claimed; or maybe it's cited as a reason to fund the pet projects of vested interests. Contrary to a vew of there being a 'car culture', I believe people are fairly pragmatic and will use whatever transport mode that works best for them. If we think the modal split is too lopsided, then making the forms of transport we want to encourage more attractive might be a solution.

More information is here, including an issues paper and submissions already received.

The closing date for submissions is December 2.

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Friday, November 18, 2005

Service boost for regional Victoria

The Victorian Government's recent Moving Forward in Regional Victoria statement has some welcome service increases for bus services within and between country towns and cities.

Age article here

For those downloading the strategy document, Action 12 lists the towns that will be getting the new or improved services.

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Sunday, November 13, 2005

Housekeeping

1. A slight change of name; from melbourneintransit.blogspot.com to melbourneontransit.blogspot.com . Please update any links and bookmarks.

2. This blog is under reconstruction. More items soon!

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