In a city like Sydney, a place where the public transport system is thoroughly complex, it’s still very likely that you’ll end up needing to cab it from point A to point B.
Imagine that you’re in Bondi and trying to get to the North Shore. It’s 6.50 on a Saturday night and you’re meeting some mates for a night on the town.
Upon leaving the home of one of Australia’s most famous beaches, you have two options. You could either:
- A. Wait for a bus to take you out of Bondi, or
- B. Walk up to the station.
Option A is a little like playing Russian Roulette. If the buses aren’t packed, you’ll get on one somewhat quickly, but since they’re always packed on a Saturday night as the Eastern Suburbanites make their way into the city, you are – for lack of a better word – screwed.
It is far easier to get into Bondi than it is out of it, a fact that is demonstrated every Friday & Saturday night as Sydney’s more West-bound people drive into the long narrow stretch that is Bondi Road leading into Campbell Parade pumping their music up to levels that left them deaf two weeks ago and hollering at your girlfriend to come check out their ride.
Your ride sucks, by the way. Stop bragging about your lo-jacked red Mitsubishi that’s fully sick when it’s about as classy as a ten dollar hooker throwing up on the sidewalk as you plead with her to come back to your place for some lovin’. She ain’t fooled and you ain’t fooling anyone either.
And yes, your ride still sucks.
If you took Option A, you probably took 40 minutes to get out of Bondi and into Bondi Junction. Whereas if you had been intelligent and taken Option B, you’d be there by now. Option B takes around 15 minutes, 20 minutes if you’re in a lazy mood and 10 if you’re feeling extra sporty.
Now that we’re out of the road, we can concentrate on the fast lane. Well, sort of. Like before, you have two options available to you:
- A. Take the bus
- B. Take the train
If you managed to get onto a bus in the previous Option A, hopefully you got on one of Bondi’s “Express” buses, the 333. If you did, it will take you from here approximately 10-15 minutes to get into the city. If you got onto a 380 – the regular bus – you’ll be in the city in 15-25 minutes depending on traffic.
Assume the worst because your city hates you, just like that bald guy who knows you’re better looking than him and is seated two rows back. He hates you too, but he’ll never have the guts to talk to you.
Then there’s the magical Option B which lets you take one of Sydney’s trains into the city. Depending on what time you get there, they leave every 10 minutes or so and take about 10 minutes. Assume 15 depending on when you got there for this variable. This number is to get you to Town Hall, where you can change.
Yay! You’ve made it to the city, the one place where everyone is going tonight! Here you can get off, stretch your feet, ogle the pretty girls who are looking extra slutty tonight, and think “Bugger, isn’t it a shame I’m going to the North Shore and not the city.”
Your brain kicks in and presents you with the following choices:
- A. Take the bus
- B. Take the train
Do you see a pattern emerging here?
Option A is valid for both of the previous situations. If you managed to take a bus into the city from the previous step, you can get off at Martin Place and hurry on down to Wynyard where you can wait for any number of buses that travel over the bridge and onto the Pacific Highway, thereby taking you to the North Shore.
Likewise, if you took a train in, you can hop off at Martin Place and do the exact same thing.
Assume 5 minutes of walk time to the bus stop, 5-10 for waiting for a bus, and then 10-15 for getting to your destination.
Option B is a little bit different. If you took the train in for the previous step, you’re in a better place as you can switch at Town Hall, wait the expected 10 minutes before your Chatswood-bound train service arrives (you’re not going to Chatswood… no, you’re not going and that’s final), and then wait the 5-15 minutes to your destination.
Assume 5 for Milson’s Point and anything onwards as the train moves further down the line. Since North Sydney isn’t really open on the weekends, you’re only stopping there if you know someone sad enough to live there or someone rich enough to live in Blues Point.
If you took the bus, you’ll need to add 10 minutes walk time to your previous amount so you can get off around Elizabeth Street and make your way to Town Hall too.
The North Shore
So you’re here after what must obviously be one of the worst “Choose Your Own Adventure” titles that no one ever approved.
But before you smile your toothless grin and hope that your random head-nod dance picks up the hot girl who’d never in a million years date you (which is why your face is now slap-proof), let’s look at how much time you wasted.
It took you anywhere between…
55 minutes and 1 hour & 20 minutes.
All that to get to the other side of the Harbour using Sydney’s bus & train system.
So there’s that, or there’s the third option.
- C. Take a cab from the road near where you live to the North Shore.
A cab will take you anywhere between 10 and 25 minutes depending on where you’re going on the other side. You probably know this already, but now you really know the time difference.
And if anyone dare starts to argue the money side, you spent anywhere between $9 and $14 to get to your destination if you didn’t have a TravelTen, and if you did, you technically used the same sort of fare too.
Arguing about a $30 cab fare when you’re doing it in half the time is plain stupid, especially when you now have more time to try and impress girls who never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever are going to sleep with you.
Seriously dude, stop trying.