Is It Time To Let Go of the Mega Commute

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Should we give up the mega-commute or fix our over congested roads properly once and for all?
In Melbourne, if you drive a car it is possible to travel 10 times further than someone taking the train or tram would travel in the same amount of time. At night, the difference becomes even bigger, when road congestion eases and public transport becomes less frequent. It is a situation replicated across Australia and it's little wonder Australians love their cars.
I've been doing the mega-commute from the Central Coast to Sydney for about 9 years now. I used to drive but then changed to public transport for a few reasons and it's not to say that public transport is the better choice as it clearly is not.
  1. More often than not, congestion over the harbour bridge was enough to delay my trip by about 40 minutes in the mornings.
  2. There is a lack of parking and when there is parking it's about $65 per day or more
  3. General congestion of fellow travellers all doing the same commute to work
More cars on the road is not scalable without building more road infrastructure, it only adds time to the daily commute and building high density city living areas does not suit the majority of Australians.
Public transport has it's own issues
  1. A single issue on the train network is rather like a domino effect, it affects everyone. It may only take 10 minutes to fix the issue, but the flow on effect means hours of delay. (in fact the train im on today is a late running and is stuck behind the later all stations train)
  2. If you miss a train you're waiting anywhere between 30 minutes and 1 hour for the next train
  3. Trains are very much over crowded now, adding more people to the train system will be shifting the problems to train chaos.
  4. Trains don't always go to your exact destination and require a change over to another train, bus, ferry
The train network needs to be built with failover in mind, alternate tracks so we stop avoiding the domino effect.
The point is, if we had properly designed road infrastructure it would not take 1.5 - 2 hours to drive from the Central Coast to Sydney it should be taking 20 - 30 minutes at the most, and if we lived local to our job 3 - 5 minutes
I know plenty of people including friends who live 20 minutes out of the city near work. But ask them why it takes them the same 1.5 hours to get into work and the same 1.5 hours back home. It's simply congestion and poorly designed roads.
"The solution may seem simple but it's something that's likely to cost billions and take years to develop. It's probably suitable as a 20 year plan to any reasonable Government."
We have even had government try to encourage some people to start work later to break up the congestion. (now that was a short sighted solution that was never going to take off)
To solve problems now I firmly believe that people need to embrace rideshare and try to ensure 3 people to a car. The impact of potentially removing the need for 1/3 of the cars on the morning and evening commute would be huge.
The problem is the amount of cars not people, if 10,000 people decided to rideshare we would notice results.
Sydneys commute to work, LifeSocial
Want to know how to get Ridesharing Today
  1. Join LifeSocial Rideshare simply by visiting
  2. Have a look around at business and people who work near you, ask them are they interested in engaging in some ridesharing between staff, have then enrol into LifeSocial Rideshare Teams
  3. Create a Group of people using LifeSocial Rideshare Teams and invite all users to LifeSocial
Mega Commute is killing us, LifeSocial
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Date Published: 26/11/2014
Author: Dan Skill
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