Fw: Thurs.31.1.19 daily digest
  Roderick Smith


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190131Th Melbourne 'Herald Sun' - letters (public-transport safety).
190131Th Melbourne 'Age' - airport line.
190131Th Melbourne Express - guide-dog tram.
Melbourne Express: Thursday, January 31, 2019
8.50:
- Route 109 trams aren't running between Narrak Road and Box Hill due to a tram fault. The 284 tram along Whitehorse Road is still be best bet for stranded travellers.
- All Metro lines are running smoothly.
PSA: Dog tram is back. High-level cuteness alert - the Guide Dog Tram is back today! Between 2 and 3pm this afternoon, adorable guide dogs will be riding route 19 down Elizabeth Street.
The Guide Dog Tram is back! We'll be riding the network on route 19 down Elizabeth Street in the City between 2pm and 3:00pm on 31 Jan. Keep an eye on your Tramtracker app and our socials for updates and to track us down!
Sammie, a yellow guide dog, is sitting on a tram, in harness.
8.00 Things are staying pretty stable on the roads and public transport as we all ease back into work mode.
- No route 109 trams are running between Narrak Road and Box Hill due to a tram fault at Box Hill Central. Passengers can use the 284 bus along Whitehorse Road.
Dramatic pictures of the deluge last night.
6.04 So far all Metro Train lines are reporting a good service except the Lilydale line which has minor delays.
5.46 things on the roads and public transport are looking quiet at the moment.
<www.theage.com.au/melbourne-news/melbourne-express-thursday-january-31-2019-20190131-p50uok.html>

Thurs.31.1.19 Metro Twitter
11.34 Cranbourne/Pakenham lines: Minor delays (police attending to a trespasser near Murrumbeena).  Trains may be held.
- 11.47 Now major, but clearing.
- 16.53 Are there still delays?
- 16.59 We have minor delays to some outbound trains.
20.28 Upfield line: Buses will be replacing trains North Melbourne - Coburg (a person hit by a train).  Buses may take up to an hour to arrive. Consider alternative transport options, eg eoute 19 tram.
- 21.16 All you can hear tonight is sirens; it’s not good at all.
- 21.17 Extra travel time of up to 40 minutes.
- 22.03 trains are resuming.


Police release CCTV of youths wanted over assaults, robbery at Wyndham Vale station 31 January 2019.
video Police hunt leads on Wyndham Vale assault
Two teenagers were allegedly attacked by 20 people on January 27, and police are hoping this man may be able to help the with their inquiries.
Police have released images of two youths wanted over a robbery that left two teenagers bruised and traumatised outside a train station in Melbourne's west.
A 14-year-old boy and his 17-year-old friend were both allegedly attacked about 7.15pm, in separate incidents that occurred within a short timeframe, near the Wyndham Vale railway station on Sunday.
An image of one of the youths people wish speak to. Credit:Victoria Police
Police said a group of up to 20 youths circled the two teenagers at bus stop near the train station before they were attacked.
An image of one of the youths police wish to speak to over the assault and robbery. Credit:Victoria Police
The father of one of the teenagers claimed earlier this week that Protective Service Officers at the station failed to do enough to help his 14-year-old son during the attack.
Anthony Ferrari's son Xavier was on his way home from the movies with his 17-year-old friend Ricky when the pair were set upon.
The youths followed the two friends off the 166 bus and surrounded them at the bus shelter next to the train station before two males attacked.
Both teenagers were assaulted and Xavier's phone, airpods and a gold necklace he'd received for his birthday two weeks earlier were stolen.
Mr Ferrari claims the two PSOs later told him there was little they could do but call police.
"When I was talking to the PSO officer on the phone I asked why they let this happen, why didn't they stop it, but he said you've got to understand there was two of us and 20 of them, what are we going to do?" he said.
"You teach your kids to stay in view of either the cameras or the PSOs, you think they should be safe."
Transit Inspector Andrew Gustke, however, rejected suggestions the PSOs failed to intervene and said the officers had only just been approached by the first young victim when they became aware that another teen, his friend, was being attacked nearby.
He said on Monday two officers had been patrolling the train station when commuters alerted them to the assault, which was happening a few hundred metres away.
By the time they approached, the group of youths had "scattered", he said.
"The PSOs have done a fantastic job here, they've done exactly what they should do," Inspector Gustke said.
"Whilst talking to this first victim it's our understanding that the second robbery was taking place.
"That was happening 20 to 30 metres away from where they were and they have not witnessed that and not been aware of it until there was a lot of yelling and screaming going on."
Transit police have released images and CCTV footage of two of the youths in the hope someone recognises them.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
<www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/police-release-cctv-of-youths-wanted-over-assaults-robbery-at-wyndham-vale-station-20190131-p50uwi.html>

'Bunnings-style' shed to shield St Kilda Road from noise and dust 31 January 2019.
A large, 'Bunnings-style' shed will be built near the Shrine of Remembrance in mid-2019 to contain dust and noise as excavations begin on the five Metro Tunnel stations.
The Anzac station site on St Kilda Road will be the starting point for a giant tunnel-boring machine's dig between southern Swanston Street and South Yarra for the Metro Tunnel project.
About five million tonnes of rock and soil are expected to be excavated from beneath Melbourne during the building of the twin nine-kilometre tunnels and the new underground stations.
A large acoustic shed will be built over the northern part of the Metro Tunnel site near St Kilda Road.Credit:Nell O'Shea
The acoustic shed will be constructed after the walls and concrete roof slab of the Anzac station have been laid – the station will be 300 metres long and 22 metres deep.
The $11 billion rail project is set to be completed by the end of 2025.
"All five of the brand-new station locations are now being dug out. That’s a really significant milestone for this project," Premier Daniel Andrews said on Thursday.
"The size and scale of our projects and infrastructure agenda in road and rail are internationally significant."
Mr Andrews said the transport investment is not just for the future, but to create jobs and skills "right now'.
"As part of their education, [120 engineering cadets] are working many hours embedded in this project, getting skills that they will utilise for a lifetime," he said.
Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan said there are more opportunities for people to "get onboard" the project.
"We’ve opened up a Metrohub, which will be a one-shop stop for jobs and training," Ms Allan said.
"We’re encouraging people to seek out their future career and job opportunities there."
Related Article Acting Premier James Merlino and Transport Minister Jacinta Allan Ya dig? Removal of 80 Olympic-sized pools of dirt starts at Parkville.
<www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/bunnings-style-shed-to-shield-st-kilda-road-from-noise-and-dust-20190131-p50uw5.html>

'I was just covered in blood': Two train drivers attacked by rock-throwers 31 January 2019.
A veteran train driver was taken to hospital after rocks were hurled through the front window of a moving freight train, while a second claims he was also the target of a similar attack both on Wednesday.
Greg Kerwin was travelling at about 65km/h along a railway track in the Mornington Peninsula when he caught a glimpse of a young man holding a rock in his hand near the level-crossing at Tyabb station.
Greg Kerwin Credit:Nine News
"The next second I got whacked and I felt this warm sensation," the 46-year-old told Channel Nine.
"I put my hand up and I was just covered in blood."
The rock flew through the driver's window before hitting Mr Kerwin's face leaving grazes and a deep cut on the top of his head.
Greg Kerwin's points to the cuts on the top of his head. Credit:Nine News
He was taken to Frankston Hospital where doctors fixed the wound on the top of his head with glue before he underwent a brain scan.
Police are investigating the incident.
"He didn't hurt me, if that's what he wanted he didn't, I'll tell him that now," he told Channel Nine. "But if he's man enough, if you want to define being a man... hand yourself in."
Despite the traumatic ordeal, Mr Kerwin said he'd be back at work next week..
"I love driving trains, this is my forte," he said. "For me, this is my career."
Another train driver, who has requested not to be named, claimed rocks were thrown at his train on the Pakenham line just before reaching Officer.
The second driver said he saw what he believed to be a young person deliberately throw a rock at  his window.
"Usually they aim for the side of the train – this time they went for me," said the driver, who was thankful the window was strong enough to withstand the impact.
"I've been driving for decades ... I'm guessing this has happened to me more than a dozen times."
Police were not made aware of the Pakenham line incident.
Rail, Tram and Bus Union secretary Luba Grigorovitch said she had been informed by authorities the suspects in the incident at Tyabb were believed to be "young people".
Ms Grigorovitch said the unprovoked attack was unacceptable and put the safety of both the train's driver and its passengers at risk.
"No one goes to work to be in harm's way. It's completely unacceptable," she said on 3AW radio.
The events come months after a Melbourne truck driver was forced to swerve into an emergency lane on the Western Highway, after a 12kg rock was thrown through his windscreen by a group of young people on an overpass.
The incident, which occurred while the driver was travelling at 100km/h, was captured on dash-cam footage.
In South Australia, several similar incidents on Adelaide freeways prompted state parliament to debate a bill to double the penalties for rock-throwing from five to 10 years' jail.
Anyone with information about the Tyabb incident is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
<www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/completely-unacceptable-rocks-hurled-through-train-driver-s-window-20190131-p50upm.html>


Whatever you do, don't argue with a tram 31 January 2019. 18 comments.
I have lived in cities with trams. They are marvellous but you don't want to tangle with one.
In Berlin, my colleague came into work one morning a little bit late. Her face was ashen and her voice was shaking. It was winter in Germany and she had just seen an old woman slip on the ice and been - steel yourself - beheaded. She had fallen across a rail in the rush hour and that was it.
Canberra Metro and the ACT Emergency Services Agency staged a car versus light rail vehicle crash to test the responses of firefighters and paramedics.. Credit:ACT government
Too much rushing in the rush hour. It is always tempting to run for that tram rather than wait for the next one, even in Berlin where the next one is never more than a few minutes away. People take their chance and sometimes, they lose the fatal gamble.
As trams head our way, Canberra Metro which will run the light rail system is already warning about tram safety. “Take care when pushing a pram not to let the wheel get stuck in the track,” it advises. “Pay attention and stay alert at all times.”
In a city of trams, everyone knows that a tram is not to be trifled with. Whatever the rules on paper, the rule on the street is (as with giant cargo ships on the high seas): just get out of the way. A car versus a tram is not a fair contest and a pedestrian versus a tram is a puny lad against a heavyweight.
A very heavy weight. In Melbourne, there are striking posters featuring a rhino on a skateboard. Yarra Trams puts out videos reminding people, particularly young people on mobile phones, that a tram at 60 tonnes weighs about the same as 30 rhinos. "If a rhinoceros on a skateboard was heading your way, you'd get out of the way, right?" is the slogan.
On the latest figures, there were 1930 "incidents" involving trams in Melbourne in 2017.
Nobody died but there were 67 serious injuries, half when people slipped or tripped. Three-quarters of the injuries were to people over the age of 65.
On top of people-tram clashes, there were 977 bumps between trams and cars in 2017, up from 962 in 2016 - that's about three a day.
The rhino on a skateboard problem is not confined to Australia. One of the manufacturers, Bombardier, has been installing detection devices in Frankfurt, Marseille, Berlin and Cologne, with Zurich, Brussels and Duisburg to follow. A special camera sets off a claxon if an obstacle - like a human being - is detected. Will Canberra have the same?
Education is needed in our car city.
On the Gold Coast, the tram operator has done a strong awareness campaign. The warning says: "Our trams weigh 60 tonnes when empty.
“As a light rail system, our trams are built to be as quiet as possible which means that once you’re used to the noise of the tram, and are distracted by other things, the approaching sound of a tram can be lost in the background as ambient noise”.
One of its messages is: “remove head or earphones when walking on or across our network, and limit mobile phone conversation." Good luck with that!
In Berlin, there was another safety problem: cyclists have rumbled that a tram line is a flat and direct link between A and B. Perfect for cycling - except when the wheels get stuck in the groove.
I can tell you that there nothing quite like the fear you feel as you realise that you and your bike are about to hurtle to the hard ground, and with a tram too close behind for comfort. For an eternal second, you foresee in slow motion the pain you are about to feel.
Romantic, trams are. They trundle along.
But you don't want to play chicken with a rhino on a skateboard.
<www.canberratimes.com.au/national/act/whatever-you-do-don-t-argue-with-a-tram-20190131-p50upp.html>

Jan 31 2019 Travel guide to world public-transport systems for tourists.
Komsomolskaya is Moscow Metro station. It is one of busiest in whole system and is most loaded one on line. Photo: Shutterstock
As you cross the Pont d'Iena over the Seine on board a Paris metro train, Line 6, the Eiffel Tower comes into perfect view for a few magical seconds. Elsewhere, you can still trundle through the oldest streets of Lisbon in Portugal's classic yellow Remodelado trams. A world away, Sri Lanka's street vendors serve food to you while you're sitting on a bus. And some of the best music you'll ever hear is performed live in the tunnels and carriages of the New York subway.
As travellers we can choose to use public transport simply to get around a new place or, better, we can embrace each mini-journey as an experience in its own right.
The world's modern public transport systems were all designed with the same goal: to efficiently move large numbers of commuters along a fixed route for a reasonable fee. Yet the infrastructure, vehicles and schedules of each city or country's specific system can't help but reflect the culture and pace and rhythm and artistic nature of the place it services.
Using public transport as opposed to hiring a car can mean less comfort, less control and problem-solving without privacy. But it's usually cheaper, more interesting, a more environmentally-friendly option and can be less stressful than to drive and park.
And, perhaps most importantly, it's more socially immersive with locals than with other tourists so you'll undoubtedly go home with stories about depending on the kindness of strangers.
Your bus, train, tram, ferry, aerial cable car or taxi might be beautifully decorated, deliciously rickety, impossibly loud, almost silent, super-fast, sluggish, open-air, fully enclosed, spacious, cramped, toasty, overheated, underheated, new, retro, techy, ancient.
Little else can make you feel more acutely aware of being on holidays than travelling alongside people commuting to work when you are not so avoiding peak hour is better for everyone.
Here are some of our favourites for you to try next time you're on the road.. We've included taxis, which although not technically public transit, have become too much a part of the transport fabric of most places, and at time too much fun, to exclude. Oh, and hurry. Some of these featured transports of delight are threatened with extinction.
MOSCOW METRO
MOSCOW - AUGUST 22, 2016: Arbatskaya subway station in Moscow, Russia. The station is on the Arbatsko-Pokrovskaya Line of the Moscow Metro and opened in 1953 Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK
WHERE Moscow, Russia
WHAT IS IT An architecturally extravagant 13-station metro called Palace for the People opened under Stalin in 1935 designed to highlight the unrivalled magnificence of the Soviet system. It now has 224 stations.
THE TRIP One of the world's longest, most efficient and most beautiful metros has relatively ordinary trains but vaulted ceilings, stained glass, porcelain tiling, mosaics, columns, arches, frescos, revolutionist art and chandeliers at stations like Kiyevskaya, Komsomolskaya and Mayakovskaya. Teatralnaya is near Red Square, the Kremlin and the Bolshoi Theatre.
NEED TO KNOW Even some babushkas will push to get on board a crowded train – more a practical than an aggressive move – but those same people will stand back to let others off before they board. Drinking alcohol on the Moscow metro is now illegal.
ESSENTIALS Open from 6am to 1am with less than two minutes between trains. On a Troika card one trip costs about 75 cents. See russiau.com/using-moscow-metro
See also: Inside the world's most beautiful city subway
AMBASSADOR TAXIS
KOLKATA, INDIA - OCTOBER 27, 2016: View of yellow Hindustan Ambassador taxi in the center of Kolkata, India - Image  Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK
WHERE Kolkata, west Bengal, India
WHAT IS IT The iconic marigold-yellow Ambassador taxis have been a common sight in the City of Joy's traffic jams for decades. In 1957 Hindustan Motors first produced this Morris Oxford-inspired car. Being hard-wearing, easy to fix and comfortable makes them the perfect taxi.
THE TRIP Ride an Amby in its birthplace of Kolkata for three blocks to your favourite Kathi roll stand or into the city to the Birla Planetarium. The spacious vinyl back seat gives respite from the crowds and sensory overload of Kolkata. Prepare to fall into fascinating conversation with your driver.. Naturally airconditioned.
NEED TO KNOW A "no refusal" sign doesn't tend to mean much but it's usually easy enough to flag down an Ambassador taxi from the curb. Production of Hindustan Ambassadors ended in May 2014 so they are now officially an endangered species.
ESSENTIALS The cost for an Ambassador taxi ride about 30-60 cents a kilometre calculated on a digital meter.
See also: India for beginners: what you need to know
TRAGHETTO
R5H0NH Traghetto and passengers crossing the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy on 27 November 2018 Photo: Alamy
WHERE Venice, Italy
WHAT IS IT In the City of Water a traghetto is a large gondola, powered and steered by two gondoliers, that shuttle passengers across the Grand Canal between two set points.
THE TRIP From a small wooden traghetto pier it's a short, easy and authentically Venetian journey to the other side. Locals typically stand but you may be asked to sit. Take a traghetto from Santa Sofia across to the pescaria (fish market) as an alternative to the 850-metre-long pedestrian trek over the Ponte di Rialto.
NEED TO KNOW Yellow signs on buildings indicate the direction towards the nearest traghetto landing. Pay an oarsperson with exact change or close. Luggage and prams aren't welcome.
ESSENTIALS One trip costs about $7. Most traghetti run from 7.30am-8pm and depart every few minutes but times change depending on the day of the week or time of year. See venice-tourism.com
CAMIONETA
Photo: Alamy
WHERE Central America
WHAT IS IT Throughout this vibrant subcontinent, old American school buses have been given flamboyant paint jobs and repurposed as public transport vehicles tourists call chicken buses.
THE TRIP Expect overtaking on blind corners, sitting with four people on what you thought was a two-person seat, street vendors coming on board to feed you and no toilet stops. All your senses will be fully engaged when travelling by camioneta from somewhere like Belize's San Ignacio, situated near ancient Mayan cities, to the culturally fascinating coastal village of Hopkins.
NEED TO KNOW There's no set schedule and buses simply leave when full – so get on a half-full bus. Keep your luggage with you and only give the conductor your fare once the bus is moving so you know you're paying the right person.
ESSENTIALS Camioneta terminals are usually beside marketplaces with the origin and destination tend to be displayed on bus windscreens. Expect to pay about $1.50 an hour of travel.
THE JEEPNEY
CN4YBG Philippines, Luzon island, Manila, Ermita district, a jeepney (jeep extended to carry passengers) Credit: Alamy
WHERE Manila, Philippines
WHAT IS IT After the Philippines gained independence from America in 1945 surplus US military jeeps became public transport vehicles, though only after getting a roof and a flashy Filipino makeover. The original jeeps have worn out but the transport concept hasn't.
THE TRIP These creatively decorated buses have bench seating and rear door access for passengers. Jeepneys are the cheapest and most available form of public transport in Manila. This potentially cramped experience of questionable safety allows you the privilege of sitting hip to hip with locals. Take a jeepney from Araneta Center Cubao and escape the city for a day out at Masungi Georeserve (near Tanay).
NEED TO KNOW If you're polite and respectful then people will be more than happy to help you get to your destination. You'll be judged for manspreading but not for using a hand fan. Jeepneys are now under threat of being phased out.
ESSENTIALS Jeepneys costs the equivalent of about 25 cents for five city-traffic kilometres. See experiencephilippines.org
MI TELEFERICO
Cable car in La Paz city, Bolivia Credit: Shutterstock
WHERE La Paz, Bolivia
WHAT IS IT Since 2014 the world's highest cable car network has revolutionised life for commuters in the world's highest capital of La Paz, at 3650 metres, and adjacent El Alto. The ever-expanding system will have 11 lines by 2020.
THE TRIP This significantly faster and cheaper alternative to buses also happens to offer incredible views over these cities and their snow-capped Andes backdrop, especially from the red and orange lines and particularly at sunset. Take the yellow to Sopocachi, in La Paz, for small bars and for restaurants serving good local food. And the red to 16 de Julio for the El Alto Sunday market.
NEED TO KNOW Expect long Sunday afternoon lines after the market.
ESSENTIALS Mi Teleferico costs about 60 cents a line. The system runs early morning until late at night and cars leave stations every 12 seconds. See miteleferico.bo
SHINKANSEN
TOKYO, JAPAN - JANUARY 3: A Shinkansen train pulls into Tokyo Station on January 3, 2015 in Tokyo, Japan. Credit: Shutterstock
WHERE Japan
WHAT IS IT In 1964 Japan's first high-speed line linked Tokyo with Osaka and now shinkansen (meaning "new trunk line"), or bullet trains, move almost half a million people around the country daily.
THE TRIP Shinkansen are smooth, efficient and cleaning crews perform supersonic seven-minute sessions at terminus stations. Sit at the window closest to the other track to get a sense of the speed you're going when another train passes from the opposite direction. Shinkansen now link major cities on Hokkaido, Honshu and Kyushu with Tokyo. A test train for a Tokyo to Nagoya underground track, currently in the pipeline, has already reached 603km/h.
NEED TO KNOW Line up on the platform according to seat class before the train arrives. On board it's extremely rude to talk on the phone anywhere but deck areas between cars.
ESSENTIALS There are up to three classes of seating and trains have reserved and non-reserved seats. Your Japanese Rail Pass covers most but not all lines. Newer trains are fully wheelchair accessible. See jnto.org.au
See also: Japan's newest bullet train goes through the world's deepest tunnel
SHOSHOLOZA MEYL
D4Y8WF The Shosholoza Meyl train arrives at Matjiesfontein Station in the Karoo region South Africa Cape Town to J'burg service. Image shot 2013. Exact date unknown. Credit: Alamy
WHERE South Africa
WHAT IS IT Shosholoza Meyl is a rail service for long-distance intercity train travel in South Africa. Trains are bright purple, blue and yellow inside and out.
THE TRIP The 600 kilometres from Johannesburg to Durban, for example, take 15 hours. Outside the window are towns, landscape and sometimes wildlife while, inside, the dining car has wait staff. Economy has "sitter accommodation" and the so-called tourist class has cabins that sleep two or four on bunk beds. Shared bathrooms have showers. Shosholoza Meyl assures passengers they'll have "a pleasant experience" – honest advertising in this world of false promises.
NEED TO KNOW Tickets for bedding, provided at extra cost, are sold on the train. Get on at least 30 minutes before the departure time. Trains may leave late but never early.
ESSENTIALS Johannesburg to Durban runs three times a week and tourist class costs about $36. See southafricanrailways.co.za
STOCKHOLM FERRIES
KFE8H3 Ferry and Djurgarden island viewed from the water, Stockholm, Sweden SunFeb3cover - Public Transport - Elspeth Callender Credit: Alamy
Photo: Alamy
WHERE Stockholm, Sweden
WHAT IS IT Because Sweden's capital and most populous city, on the Baltic Sea, is built across 14 islands many locals commute by ferry.
THE TRIP Stockholm's ferries strike the balance between being sturdy and being quaint. In central Stockholm the ferry from Djurgarden – where you can visit the Vasa Museum of maritime history, the Abba Museum and open-air museum Skansen – goes directly to Slussen pier at the Old City of Gamla Stan.
NEED TO KNOW SL cards cover the Djurgarden ferry but not all Stockholm ferries. Swedish commuters prefer to have their own double seat so give people space.
ESSENTIALS Buy a single use travelcard if it's a quick visit. The SL website shows ferry terminals and has a trip planner. See sl.se/en
TORONTO TRAMSStreet Cars during in Toronto city, Canada - Credit: Shutterstock
WHAT IS IT The largest operating tram system in the Americas has been in continuous use since 1861 when streetcars were horse-drawn. Now 11 lines cover 80 kilometres.
THE TRIP Toronto's historic streetcars have almost all been replaced by new generation airconditioned, fully wheelchair accessible, zero-emissions trams. Streetcars take you into inner city neighbourhoods like West Queen West for China Town and Kensington Market or to Roncesvalles Village which, despite going all trendy, still has Polish bakeries, cafes and delis.
NEED TO KNOW Cram polite, reserved, rule-driven people into a city of 8 million people and you get passive-aggression. Rule of thumb: keep out of people's way or prepare for a glare.
ESSENTIALS Travel Toronto's public transport system on a PRESTO card (see prestocard.ca). Most streetcars operate for 18 hours every day. See www.ttc.ca
TEN MORE GREAT PUBLIC TRANSPORT EXPERIENCES
WUPPERTAL SUSPENSION RAILWAY, WUPPERTAL, GERMANY
This suspension monorail was beyond cutting edge in 1901 and now looks like futuristic transport imagined in the distant past. The low-speed 13.3-kilometre journey follows the course of the Wupper River. Stop at the art nouveau station of Werther Brucke or glassy Kluse and ride or even get married in their heritage Kaiserwagen. See schwebebahn.de
ATHENS METRO, GREECE This reliable rapid-transport system with its sleek stations is also an underground museum of sorts. From 1993 metro excavations turned into one of Athens' most successful archaeological digs that uncovered around 50,000 artefacts. You'll find some of these or replicas integrated into stations like Evangelismos, Panepistimiou and Syntagma. Don't miss the vaulted bed of the river Eridanos at Monastiraki or the pickpockets. See athenstransport.com
BASI, FIJI Island music plays, a Pacific breeze floats through the bus and sometimes freshly made food is sold on board. These windowless basi in Fiji are gradually being replaced by generic airconditioned buses and coaches, especially on Fiji's main island of Viti Levu, and they're just not the same. On the islands of Taveuni and Vanua Levu, plan Sundays around not needing a bus. See fiji.travel
BC FERRIES, BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA There are 200 Gulf Islands in the Strait of Georgia between mainland British Columbia and Vancouver Island. Join commuters, Vancouver locals travelling to or from their weekender and the happy hippies who live in the islands year-round for a trip as scenic as any coastal cruise. Give yourself a one-day buffer to get back to Vancouver for an international flight in case weather delays ferries. See bcferries.com
CITADIS TRAMS, MOROCCO In 2012 Casablanca launched its first tram service and the network already reaches 48 stations over 31 kilometres of track. Trams are orange on the outside with interior graphics and colours on seats and ceilings inspired by zellige – the mosaic tile art typical to Morocco. Don't fail Travel 101 miserably by putting your big note in the ticket machine expecting change. See casatramway.ma
NYC FERRY, NEW YORK, US East River commuter ferries are as cheap as the NYC subway but the view is so much better. There are six routes, 21 piers, new vessels and grand plans for expansion. Wall Street to East 34th Street shows off some favourites like the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building. Pop ginger tabs on sloppy days. See ferry.nyc
SYDNEY FERRIES These old harbour beauties can't be left out lest we become complacent about what we have in our own country (yes, Melbourne trams, we see you too). From Manly to Circular Quay and back again find a seat outside on the wharf side for a view of rolling swell and Sydney Heads. Ferries operate every day of the week to 38 wharves. Use an Opal Card. See beyondthewharf.com.au
TAXI BROUSSE, MADAGASGAR Travel between this African island's cities and towns the way locals do. Although not fast or particularly comfortable these minibuses – the name means bush taxi – are sociable and inexpensive and one of the few alternatives to hiring your own 4WD. Drivers will put your bicycle or pack on the roof and you're likely to end up with a sleeping child on your lap. See madagascar-tourisme.com
TUK-TUK, PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA Riding in a colourful roofed trailer that's attached to a motorbike is a fun way to be part of the outrageous Phnom Penh traffic without having to be responsible for crossing roads. Usually just a couple of dollars a trip within the city centre, negotiate a price before you get moving, help the driver with directions if you know the way and keep in mind the Khmer word for stop is "chop". See tourismcambodia.com
THE LONDON UNDERGROUND, BRITAIN The world's first underground railway, better known as The Tube, is a magical environment of warm winds, aesthetic tile work and the music of talented (licenced) performers wafting up escalators and down tunnels. London Underground has long been a huge supporter of the arts and design so there are many site-specific artworks and an ongoing program of events. See tfl.gov.uk
FIVE OUTSTANDING PUBLIC TRANSPORT SYSTEMS
CHEAPEST Luxembourg's new government has vowed, along with creating two new public holidays and legalising cannabis, to make the country's public transport free by June 2019 in an effort to reduce the ridiculous state of traffic congestion in Luxembourg City. See visitluxembourg.com
GREENEST Germany and France have together developed the world's first CO2-emission-free hydrogen passenger train. In 2018 two bright blue Coradia iLint trains hit the rails in German's Lower Saxony. The new trains are also low-noise and reach a respectable 140km/h. See niedersachsen-tourism.com
FASTEST Feel the need for speed? The Shanghai Maglev Train hits 431km/h as it shuttles between the city's airport and the outer reaches of its metro. The comfortable 30-kilometre journey takes only eight minutes. See smtdc.com/en
EASIEST It's always impressive when old cities commit to accessible public transport so shout-outs to Israel's Tel Aviv, Poland's Gdynia, Denver Colorado and, most notably, Berlin. Bonus points for Moscow metro where announcements are delivered by female or male-sounding voices depending on train direction so that visually impaired travellers can orientate themselves. See berlin.travelable.info
SLEEKEST Trust the Scandinavians. Copenhagen metro's 20-kilometre city circle line, Cityringen, will be a driver-less rail system that runs 24 hours a day seven days a week transporting about 250,000 passengers every day. It's scheduled to open July 2019. See intl.m.dk
FIVE PUBLIC TRANSPORT EXPERIENCES YOU SHOULD ONLY HAVE IF YOU REALLY MUST.
BUSSING DEATH ROAD, BOLIVIA
Every year many vehicles drop off the 61-kilometre cliffside dirt track of North Yungas Road, better known as "Death Road", linking La Paz to Coroico. There's now an alternative highway route, you may be relieved to learn.
CATCHING A TRAIN AT SINJUKU STATION DURING PEAK HOUR, JAPAN
If you're joining Tokyo commuters at a major train station like Sinjuku, which handles more than 3 million passengers a day, then prepare to be professionally shoved by an oshiya. The word literally means pusher and the whole thing is a claustrophobe's nightmare.
BEING ONE OF THREE ADULTS ON A MOTORBIKE TAXI, HANOI, VIETNAM
So you're really proud of the price you and your friend haggled for with the driver but the car you just assumed you were bargaining over turns out to be a motorbike. It's tempting to get on and share foot pegs with your travelling companion but it's probably better to find a second bike.
RIDING A DONKEY, GREECE
Does that donkey really seem to be enjoying hauling you around that Greek isle in midday sun too hot for you walk in? These beasts of burden undeniably provide essential income for local families and it's your call but maybe you could just pay the owner to have a photo shoot with it.
USING A WOMEN-ONLY TRAIN CARRIAGE
Women passengers get off a  "women only" carriage in Tokyo. Photo: AP
In Brazil, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico and United Arab Emirates, an implemented "solution" to sexual harassment and assault on public transport is segregation. Though in all cases it's the potential victims, as opposed to perpetrators, who are in isolation.
See also: The world's greatest train journeys
<www.traveller.com.au/the-public-transport-systems-you-have-try-at-least-once-h1ajxz>



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