Monday, 11 June 2012

Playing Games with Public Transport

Here is some advice offered to commuters about travelling during the Olympics:

"If possible, try to complete your travel either before 7.00am or after 9.30am or before 4pm or after 7.30pm on weekdays."

So we need to travel at times that won't get us to work on time. Are employers being forced to allow us to be late to work? Are there many jobs where working hours can be changed?

"Buses might be a good travel alternative for you during the Games. However, some bus routes will be diverted and/or disrupted due to road closures when road events are taking place, and other operational measures, such as banned turns and clearway restrictions."

So the buses aren't a reliable alternative anyway, and you are directing a not inconsiderable amount of commuters to add themselves to the already packed bus service. That sounds like it will work out.

"The predicted wait times to board a train show what may happen if people don't change their travel patterns. We are confident that this situation can be improved, but everyone needs to be flexible about their travel and plan in advance."

Hmm... So we need to be flexible even if we can't be.

Why do we need to again? Oh, I remember: THEY (the Olympics organisers) need us to be flexible so their event goes smoothly.

So I am paying for the Olympics despite having no interest WHATSOEVER in sport, and I am expected to add lots of time out of my life travelling extra early (note: if all commuters do that it will mean that these early times will be very packed, as everyone is forced to be less staggered than their working hours allow). That is time I won't be paid for that I will not be able to utilise for my own interests.

However my commute will still cost me £205 a month.

I am meant to alter my 1hr 15min (approx) commute (so that's 2.5 hours per working day at the baseline before I add this leaving early and returning late element) which regardless of any planning has to take me through "danger zones" because that is the geography of the situation. Plus I will be lugging my not inconsiderable work-related baggage through the system. And I'm lucky because I work part time and so will at least have my Fridays removed from this bollocks.

I am astonished that treating the public in this way is in anyway justified. I feel extremely sorry for commuters with children who will have to pay extra childcare and spend much more of their life away from their children, for the lower paid who are not being paid enough to have to deal with ANY of this extra shit, and for anyone trying to use a transport system already priced higher than public transport should be that will now not even be run to fit in with the lives of the public who use it!

Why on earth has there not been a reduction in fare prices to compensate the public for these inconveniences? To my mind, since we are funding the games through tax and many other non-optional ways, we should all be able to travel for free during this period of time. The way it is, we pay the same for a worse experience whilst funding the thing that is making our lives worse.

This is public transport not Olympic transport.

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