The trouble with public transport …

By Lorenzo

Is, of course, the public. As a recent cause celebre incident on a Melbourne train has demonstrated.

It is the sort of incident which sparks conversations about bad experiences people, or their friends, have had on public transport, creating a reinforcing ripple effect.

Public transport obviously also has issues of frequency and route convenience. With the bonus of crowding in peak times. While crowding is also an issue with car transport, at least one experiences congestion sitting down, shielded from the malice and bad behaviour of others.

This is also the Saturday chit-chat post.

11 Comments

  1. John H.
    Posted June 22, 2013 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    Sir Chicken Digby Caesar

  2. Dave Bath
    Posted June 22, 2013 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    “(in a car) at least one experiences congestion sitting down, shielded from the malice and bad behaviour of others.”

    Not quite true anymore with the rise of road rage … unless you are in an armaguard truck and certainly if in a car you’d want windows up.

    I would bet, however, that deaths and hospitalization per passenger kilometre in private cars would be worse than in trams and trains and buses.

    (And if I am on the 16 tram, I’m far enough south so I can avoid the worst of the Xavier boys)

  3. Mel
    Posted June 23, 2013 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    Is this the reason why violent crime rates have dropped like a stone pretty much everywhere, an expression SL has used on a number of occasions IIRC?

    Very interesting if it turns out to be true. And at this stage the evidence is compelling.

    It is also of course yet another reason why laissez-faire small government libertarianism is dangerous as well as moronic.

  4. John H.
    Posted June 23, 2013 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    Is this the reason why violent crime rates have dropped like a stone pretty much everywhere, an expression SL has used on a number of occasions IIRC?

    Mobile phones and citizen “policing”. I hope this catches on big time. I regularly catch public transport on the Gold Coast and for the very greater part everyone is well behaved. Despite all the press about how rude the younger generation is that is most certainly not my experience.

    I had a strange encounter some months ago on a late night bus. A young man beside me, circa 21 years of age, leaned over and asked me, “what music are you listening to?” I replied, “Leave me Alone, New Order”. He jolted back and it was a while latter before I realised that he had interpreted my comment as “F … off.” So turned to him and apologised saying no that was the name of the song. He replied that I had scared him which struck me as so strange because he was a strapping big bloke and I’m the opposite!

    The kids are alright and I wish the media would stop trying on that lame old lament about “the kids of today are soo … “

  5. kvd
    Posted June 23, 2013 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    Mel your link is really very interesting – thank you. And I’d note that SL’s latest piece on TOL while interesting, was made more notable by her response to a commenter – about violence (comparative) between the US and UK. With reference to her point 5 I’m hoping she may take on board the research you highlight.

    And on her topic (abortion) there’s also an interesting long piece in the SMH about the ever-present-possibly growing push in the US to roll back Roe v Wade.

    But to answer SL’s question (’cause it’s Sunday and raining hard) I think the main difference is the more prominent place religion appears to play in American politics – as compared to the Brits, or even Aussies for that matter.

    I think it’s a ‘tell’ of ignorance.

  6. Mel
    Posted June 23, 2013 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    The abortion-crime link always struck me as as a very long bow and by its very nature so politically and emotionally charged that any research on the matter is likely to be contaminated by the researcher’s values. If this wiki page is accurate, it would seem that it is at most a minor though statistically significant contributing factor.

    Lead is an elephant, abortion is an ant.

  7. John H.
    Posted June 23, 2013 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    KVD,

    The lead issue has been around a long time nowt. Mt. Isa is a good example of that, the situation there is disgraceful. Recent research highlights that any lead exposure is potentially dangerous.

    Meanwhile, as prison populations grow in some countries, in the Netherlands they have a different problem:

    http://vorige.nrc.nl/international/article2246821.ece/Netherlands_to_close_prisons_for_lack_of_criminals

  8. kvd
    Posted June 23, 2013 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    [email protected] I wasn’t seeking to link abortion with crime. Rather, I thought it interesting that SL made a quite long comment on her own post which in part said “5. There is a small army of criminologists trying to work out why crime has fallen so far and so fast in so many places. They have a bazillion theories, some tantalizing possibilities, and no silver bullet. “ – and I simply thought the research you cite was relevant to her comment.

    John [email protected] like most laymen I’ve been aware of Mt Isa’s dreadful history. But Mel’s link was a new connection – for me anyway.

  9. conrad
    Posted June 24, 2013 at 1:19 am | Permalink

    “Very interesting if it turns out to be true. And at this stage the evidence is compelling.”

    No it isn’t — different countries phased out lead at different times, so if it was true, you would expect to see different peeks in the crime rate based on the phase out dates (although of course most places were slowly moving over, so it’s hard to see). But I believe that isn’t the case — I could be wrong and can’t find the data anywhere easily.

  10. Mel
    Posted June 24, 2013 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    Conrad @9

    The article I link to links to a Nevin paper that maps leaded petrol phase out and crime in 8 countries and finds a match in each case.

  11. John H.
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    Chronic Cannabis Exposure Induces Cerebellar Inflammation?

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