All posts tagged sydney transport

WordPress: CityRail never looked so good…

Ok so after scabbing so many WordPress themes, I’m now going to try my hand at creating one of those nifty premium style themes.

It of course will be free, and probably poorly designed since I’m not a designer.

But here’s the first Photoshop piece of my first WordPress theme: “You Fool! You Crossed The Yellow Line!”

"You Fool! You Crossed The Yellow Line!" is technically the second CityRail theme I had planned... it's just the first to come out of my Photoshop session...

"You Fool! You Crossed The Yellow Line!" is technically the second CityRail theme I had planned... it's just the first to come out of my Photoshop session...

There’s already a box under the two articles there that could essentially be used for a 4-5 square Flickr plugin and I’ll probably add a gum artwork or dirty ticket above the menu. The main section at the bottom should always be there according to this design, similar to how MNML works.

Some comments would be nice though, since I’m not a designer and this is my first real design.

In case anyone is wondering, the design of the station platform comes from how it looks at Bondi Junction (seriously, look down when you’re there) and while I took photos for inspiration, all of the textures and panels have been generated in Photoshop.

The Taxi Justification

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.

Here’s why:

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.

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The Mardi Gras Transport Stuff-Up of 2009

In a little place called Sydney, a bunch of people in costumes with bright faces, make-up, and a sense of fun are all getting ready to go out and show the world just what it means to be themselves.

They've made floats and dresses and attached feathers and glitter and joy to all parts of their bodies. There'll be music that pumps and breaks through the crowd and Mardi Gras will show everyone that gays and lesbians are out and proud.

With parties being the order of the weekend, the police are out in full-force. It's only Friday and men & women in blue stand outside a train station while they hold teenage twenty-something drug offenders to the ground. The labrador who did the grunt-work sits ready to receive his pat, stroke, belly rub reward.

People walk by, walk on, wait for a bus or taxi, but mostly move on. No one wants to be a suspect or a criminal and no one would dare comment on the irony of ten officers nailing one person to the ground.

All throughout this, this little place's transport system attempts to serve the population by providing enough buses and trains to support demand. Enough means to get the people around, from place to place and point A to points B,C,D and F.

No one wants to go to E. We're all sick of it.
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Coffee Stained Seats

I board the carriage, the rush of the train hitting me as I carry my heavy Santa-esque load on my back and through the hoards and throngs.

These random individuals most of whom haven't had great years and have no doubt taken it on others all vie for the first available seat on the train. Their eyes scout the room, quickly darting about as if they were a cat stalking its prey. A tongue juts out quickly and VOOM!- a seat is stolen and the person is reacquainting themselves with some estranged element of comfort gone missing in a world of hustle & bustle.

I board with my oversized luggage: I swear it weighs a ton. At least a metric ton, that much I am sure of!

In this time and in this season, the droves are dwindling and becoming dampened by the decaying sense of job morality. With the decline of an industry, more and more are coming less and less, starting their vacations early while their workplace starts to leak blood without the chance for an infusion.

"Get the kids," shouts the fifty-something investment banker, a man unsure about even his own investments at present time. He'll take his little boy and two half-grown up women, his wife, pet rock, & the dog and then just go. Away. Away from this, the mess; away from anything resembling anything that doesn't resemble Christmas.

As I push my way into the carriage, the loads of thoughts, dreams, distant memories once thought shattered but found again one listless cold morning, as I make my way into the train I see all of this in the glint of an eye.

I push my way in and sit on the last bite-sized chunk of a seat left over, my pants barely finding their way into a crevice left by the cruel bastard next to me sitting smug and cool with his classic sunglasses and pretentious smile.

As my backside settles in, a cardboard coffee cup shuffles it's way out from the side spreading good will & cheer on a message on the cup and spreading cheap milky brown liquid burned from some cheap espresso joint all over my freshly dry-cleaned red velvet lined pants.

I look down at the cup, now hitting the floor and staining my sackbackpack.

"Fuck," I grumble. The noise startled even the iPod earbud passenger dressed in a small sense of naivety with but a hint of Christmas cheer in the shape of a Rudolph the Red-Nosed Rei deer resting against her collar bone with a thin gold chain passed through it.

I smile the sort of smile that warns people off, looking at the messy residue all over my delicate fabric.

Right. That's the last time Santa ever takes public transport.

These old shit cans

It's a little bit like bringing out the dead with State Transit for both customers, carriages, and cars whenever cold weather rears it's ugly head.

As I sit here in this railway shit can, a man to my left vents his frustration by glaring in my direction and flexing his shoulder, a move that cracks his joint back into place. He once had full reign of this small piece of seat but I've forced his hand and he doesn't want to share.

Not when he has his important photocopy to read on SQL streaming, anyway.

To my right is a couple who have more space on their right but are hiding from the cold metal wall of this carriage. The man on my right side and his girl on his right, they sit far enough so that they still squish me even with their room to move.

Should I mention that they're French? Or is it too important not to note for fear that their snobbish ways on this rainy day could be misconstrued or interpreted as that typical Parisian attitude which seems to forge the stereotype.

This old shit can is packing up now but it's still better than the shit can I took to get here.

A bus down Bondi Road, I don't even know where they're grabbing them from. Junkyards I suspect as the only qualification must be "roof" and "four wheels" because the term "functional" seems missing from the equation.

I would sit in the middle of this unusually cold bus on an unusually cold and wet day in October, a heavy jacket day for Spring. Thank you El Nino, danke La Nina.

I would sit on that bus and be glad I'm bundled up tight, my arms sitting in a polyester furnace while the bus decides to show how impoverished it really is and drip droplets of merciless rust-and-grime stained cold onto our hands, heads, and anything else we were for some reason foolish enough to leave bare.

These old shit cans don't care though. They merely function and they barely function at that.

Poetic justice for a crumbling state.