Blogging on a Brisbane bus

I’m typing today’s post on the Friday bus into work. Thought I’d review bus travel. My normal routine, when trips away don’t intervene, is to bike in Tue-Thur, and catch a bus Monday and Friday.

I can catch expresses if I walk a bit further, but I generally end up on the slow, constantly stopping ones. You get a seat, and can do stuff, like maybe write a blog about it.

I’ve been catching buses in Brisbane on and off (see what I did there?) most of my life. I like it. It’s somehow old school, although the buses today are pretty swish, air conditioned and everything! I also like the strange social vibe – we’re in this together but interacting with anyone you don’t know would be considered weird.

Anyway, there’s currently a dozen of us on the 210, and the trip is slow because of the traffic. The Achilles heel of bussing – one of the attractions is not driving a car, then you get swamped by them anyway. Brisbane’s bus ways are a response to let buses be more like trains, with their own right of way. They have been so successful, they get congested too.

But wait, this just got different! The bus driver advised there is an accident on the Story Bridge, so it will be quicker to get off, with a short walk to the station to catch a train. How nice of him!

So I did. Had to rush a bit, but got straight onto a train heading my way. And now I’m blogging from a train full of different strangers. Still the same weird social vibe – the guy next to me was a bit standoffish when I asked where the train was heading… Still air conditioned. Still got a seat.

In the rush to get on, I forgot to swipe my Go card (a marvelous invention, seamless, quick payment, the Brisbane commuter’s friend), so now I have slight anxiety about getting busted. Boy, I’m glad I’m blogging it, as it’s become a bit of an adventure. Must admit, I felt a bit smug and self righteous crossing between the car park that was Cavendish Road, looking at all those car drivers going nowhere and knowing the public transport system is looking after me. And now there’s a slight delay, as another train has got ahead of us on the one rail bridge, so the driver has politely advised. Moving again now, but bring on cross to river rail (see earlier post).

And I’m through the Valley station and onto the street. It looks like I’m clear on the non-swipe incident. Hurrah.

So I like commuting by public transport. It works pretty well, and if you get a seat, is comfortable, little hassle, you get some exercise walking at either end (and for me today, hustling in between!) and you can do things, productive or just indulgent. I’ll leave it to you, my reader, to form your own view of whether this post is either or both.


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  1. Lanhamator says:

    I love your description, you caught the vibe very well. I suffer go card anxiety all the time as I am never sure whether I’ve swiped it correctly or not…
    Most of my train trips occur when I’m too tired to ride home from the city after a group ride. I find it a combination of relaxing/guilt-I should be riding/go card anxiety. And when I’m in my full MAMIL gear, no one would talk to me!

  2. Julie Brook says:

    Monday means its Term 2 – the signal for the tropical weather in Mackay to have eased sufficiently to recommence my on again-off again (you see what i did there too?) relationship with my bike to work. Riding my bike to work (probably at a much slower pace that you!) on our wide city streets gives me the opportunity to renew a closer relationships with my neighbourhood fabirc and neighbours along the way – check progress of renovations on hertiage homes, see how big the flowers are on the King Orchid on the corner of Podosky Street, wave to retirees in the garden in the mornings and of course feel like I have a first hand experience of commuters issues and feel able to improve those experieinces when to opportunity arises at work. So, me too, it works well. I gain perspective, save money, remain active and build a relationship with my neighbourhood places.

    PS Greg, this is my first ever post on such a site and the blame is squarely on your sholders!

    • vanndemon says:

      And we’ll said Julie! I’m happy to have led you to posting this nice contribution. Riding a bike is just a great way to experience a place – makes a difference not having a windscreen etc between you and the world.

      Also tuned in with Shannon & Nicole the other day about the conference – reckon it’s shaping up well, so good work team. Really pleased to MC again & looking forward to it.