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What lessons can Melbourne’s public transport learn from services in int’l students home countries?

MELBOURNE commuters everyday complain about the city’s public transportation services but what can be done to ensure that its public transport standards are as good as other countries? Trinity College Foundation Studies students Evelyn Sugianto, Jessie Gu and Raymond Zhao ask students what Melbourne’s public transport can learn from their home country’s public transport.

Photo: Ika Ink via FLickr

What can Melbourne’s public transportation learn from the services that international students use back home? | Photo: Ika Ink via Flickr

Travelling by public transport in Melbourne is pretty much essential for every international student as it’s the cheapest option to get around. But is Melbourne doing its best to ensure that its own public transportation services’ standards are as high as other countries?

Melbourne commuters everyday complain about their public transportation, citing issues with punctuality, overcrowding service cancellations as being too frequent and too often cancellations of service. These surely cause a great deal of annoyance, not just for international students but every public transport user in general.

Speaking to international students from Trinity College, we asked them what they think Melbourne could learn from the public transportation services of their home countries.

Photo: Rob Meredith via Flickr

Overcrowding leads to angry commuters. | Photo: Rob Meredith via Flickr

Haoxu “Hosoo” Wang from South Korea, said that “buses and subway trains [were] two predominant public transports” in his home country. “The subway trains back home have relatively higher velocity compared to Melbourne trams,” he said.

Furthermore, Hosoo elaborated that time gaps between the arrival of each train is relatively shorter in South Korea when compared to Melbourne. Hosoo says trains took “only about two to three minutes to arrive back in Korea, but here it takes approximately six to seven minutes”.

Hosoo also agrees that “punctuality is a major problem with trams in Melbourne”, and complained that he was often late for class due to the delayed arrival of trams.

According to Jiali “Cally” Feng, a student from Singapore, public transport services such as buses and MRT trains back home are usually located “near shopping malls and tourist attractions” making them more “easily accessible” as opposed to Melbourne trams in which “one stop is very far away from the next”.

In order to improve this situation, Cally suggests the “use [of] more buses instead of trams in the Melbourne CBD” as bus stops are more accessible.

Photo: Rexness via Flickr

Need to top of your myki? Would be a shame if I broke down when I’m the only machine in miles! | Photo: Rexness via Flickr

Xieyi “Siri” Wang, a student from Shanghai, China, believes tram fares in Melbourne can be quite pricey. She deems Melbourne’s transport fees to be “too expensive”, specifically in the case of short travelling trips.

“Back in my home town, subway trains are convenient, cheap, and can hold a large number of people. [Whereas] in Melbourne, the trams are old and small, [and] the buses are always not on time,” Siri said.

“Melbourne should build an underground public transportation system in order to lessen traffic jams”, Siri suggested.

Thankfully for Siri, the Melbourne Metro Rail project will begin construction next year, offering Melburnians its own underground railway by 2026.

Do you have any suggestions on what Melbourne can learn from the public transport in your country? Or do you have any ideas on how it can be improved? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

This story was produced by Media and Communication students at Trinity College Foundation Studies as part of Meld’s community newsroom collaboration. Education institutions, student clubs/societies and community groups interested in being involved can get in touch with us via meld@meldmagazine.com.au.

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About

Meld Magazine was incorporated as an independent not-for-profit media outlet in September 2008 to reach out to international students in Melbourne, and provide students the opportunity to gain real work experience.

Many international students live in or around the city because of the proximity to their colleges and universities, and that was where we decided to focus our efforts first. Many of us live, work and study locally too. Our editorial team is made of both local and international students, and it has worked to our advantage in providing local content in every sense of the word.

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