Public Transport

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Stockholm Metro at night
Stockholm Metro at night

I’ve had some amazing experiences with public transport over the last few months. I’ve been to modern cities. I’ve been to old cities. I’ve been to highly developed western economics. I’ve been to emerging former communist states. I’ve been to “super cities” in Asia. And guess what they all had? An integrated, effective public transport system. In most cases, the trains/trams ran regularly up until midnight, and all you had to do was buy a daily, weekly or monthly ticket and everything was covered.

Singapore: An unbelievably good system with regular trains and it’s cheap.

Stockholm: For my first few days there I used the Stockholm Card which included free public transport within the greater Stockholm area, covering buses, trains, metro, and even a couple of ferries. After returning from Narvik, I bought a monthly ticket costing 690 Kr, about $120 Australian. I used it every day several times, especially on the metro system, with regular services every couple of minutes right up until about 1 o’clock in the morning. And, significantly, they’ve managed to build a metro system on a geographically large city on many islands…

Prague Metro
Prague Metro

Tallin: I didn’t use public transport there much because the city was quite small. On the occasions I did catch some buses or trams, I used my Tallin Card without any worry.

Riga: I also didn’t use public transport there much because I mostly stayed in a small area.

Prague: Unbelievable! I bought a 5 day pass for the entire public transport system which cost about $30. To get to and from where I was staying I had to catch a brief metro trip (services every few minutes), followed by two stops on a tram. I used it all the time and got around the city very easily. Not an ugly advertisement in sight and they had artistic designs throughout. Oh, and they didn’t have ticket barriers per se, which meant the population got on and off trains quickly and without congestion.

Paris Metro
Paris Metro

Amsterdam: I didn’t use public transport much, because everything was reasonably close by.

Berlin: I caught a couple of trains and a couple of buses. Fantastic.

London: The tube is quite amazing with lots of regular services. A bit overcrowded for my liking. And probably quite expensive. But still, it worked.

Paris: The metro system is over 100 years old, is cheap (a daily ticket was 5.80 Euros), and easy to get around. Quite spectacular.

Hong Kong: As with Singapore, an unbelievably good system with regular trains and it’s cheap.

Sydney: Tonight it’s going to take me 35 minutes to get to Bondi. I’ll need to walk 10 minutes from my place to the station to catch a train, and then I need to catch a bus and it’s going cost me about $6.00 each way.

4 comments

  1. I love the Paris metro – did you notice that they have rubber tyres for a smooth ride?! It’s so quick and easy unless you try and change at Chatelet les Halles which is a nightmare. London on the other hand… I’m surprised it even made your list – ridiculously expensive for standard tickets unless you get a pass thing. Infrequent during the day and prone to stopping 100ft under the ground in dark tunnels for 30 minutes at a time with no explanation. Ugh.

    I’m a fan of the Sydney system but then I’m well connected where I am. There are large areas without much coverage though. Why don’t you just get the Bondi Bendy Bus (333) which goes all the way without faffing and changing and Bondi Junction. It’s cheaper too. :)

  2. I’m still carrying a Paris metro map in my wallett. actially. Sydney is pretty good, but as you say there are BIG gaps. I thought of the 333, and could probably just walk up to Oxford Street to catch it, but I gotta meet a friend at Central before hand so we can travel together. A cab is an option, but on a Friday night it could turn out to be an expensive disaster.

  3. I’ve only been on a few systems, most notably the London Tube and the Beijing Metro. Both were such ideal mass-transit systems, whilst crowded at times, were at least ferrying passengers!

    I have to travel 20 minutes to get to my nearest train station, and then 30 minutes to get to North Sydney, and I live in Ryde! (10-15 minutes if I travel by car). It’s an absolute joke.

  4. Getting to Bondi is a painful experience at the best of times. Almost as painful as actually being in Bondi. But compared to Perth’s public transport system I think Sydney’s is pretty good ;)

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