Monday, June 01, 2015

Taking the slow train

This year I have been a commuter by public transport rather than a driver by car. This has been a big change for me having driven the same route to work on a daily basis for over 16 years. The exponential rise of parking costs at work and the increasing congestion on the road, along with the easing of after school child pickups has pushed me onto the train and bus which is now my daily commute.

The public transport is not without cost and I estimate that this year I will break even or save a litte money over the costs of petrol and parking. As the work parking becomes more expensive then public transport, for me, will become cheaper but still a considerable expense. To really save the pennies I should catch a bus to and from the train station, saving $2 a day parking and related costs. If I could do away with my vehicle then that would save even more. These things are beyond me at the moment and I am comfortable with my compromise.

The train and bus does take longer than the average drive. However the public transport journey is very predictable whilst the car journey had become increasingly variable, somedays okay but many other days very slow and tiresome. There are also challenges to public transport, including the increasing detours inflicted on us by major building works, but such is life.

Another way to measure the time taken is to consider what I do with my hour of public transport. I listen to podcasts and music. I clear my email, Twitter and facebook. I watch the passing parade of faces on the train and scenery, natural and urban, on the outside. I actually enjoy the trip. There are subtle variations. Some days I have to stand, some days I sit. Some days I coincide with a work colleague and we chat. I arrive home at the end of the day with less stress (I am told) and that seems like a real gain when weighed against the extra 10 or 20 minutes the trip took.

We are all on a train ride, a journey and in life reaching the final destination isn't actually something to look forward to, but we can all try and enjoy the journey and taking the slow train can be more satisfying than the fast lane.



  1. Yep, it really is becoming less and less pleasant to drive in and around Perth... I've also abandoned driving in peak times and cycle or walk to work.

    1. Yes, and yet Perth keeps growing. We will have to be smarter.