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Social Distancing on public transport

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Old 23rd June 2020, 04:04
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aussiesteve aussiesteve is offline
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Social Distancing on public transport

Having not been outside of Bathurst in FIVE months, I was kinda looking forward to me trek down to smog hollow yesterday.
BUT, I was concerned about the Social Distancing rules currently applied to all public transport.
Since railway repairs prompted by the november through december bush fire devastation are finally completed, both of our Bathurst Bullet services have resumed.
I chose the first Bullet departure of 0546, and motored down to the station to ensure that I beat the omnibus arrival from Orange.
I had calculated that our two car dmu Endeavors would permit a certain number of socially distanced cattle.
Well, I was WRONG with that calculation.
The two car dmu, capable of 177 seated cattle plus standees as is the norm for the Bullet.
Upon arrival, I discovered that each car ONLY possessed a total of 21 green dots.
Cattle required to plant their backsides on a green dot, OR NOT journey.
Yes, I beat the omnibus and snagged a seat.
The omnibus normally carting 50 cattle can now only cart a total of 12.
We blasted off with only a couple of them green dots unoccupied.
The Bullet is normally standing room only after departure from Lithgow.
I was surprised to espy only two additional cattle attempt to jump on.
SO, what was missing from the norm.
AH, the Old Farts.
I don't regard meself as an old fart, as I am not officially a pensioner until december.
But, with pensioners able to ride the Bullet for $2.50, they normally cram it up.
As we rattled over the top of the Blue Mountains, I got to squiz the extent of the bush fire devastation.
Newnes Junction signal box burnt down to the bottom row of concrete.
Numerous newbie section huts and some catenary.
Endless swathes of black trees.
Once lobbing into smog hollow, I had the choice of alighting at Parramatta as I normally do when trekking to Alcoworld at Ingleburn suburb.
BUT, that squirt (suburban emu) is only a four car job, and normally chockers.
OR, continue into Central station and sprint to the Airport Line and catch a south squirt, they being 8 car jobs.
Some cattle were perched on the various suburban platforms along the west Speedway.
But, definitely NOT the usual hordes of cattle.
The roads by contrast were traffic jams, as most commuters were doing it the SAFE way in their cars.
I continued into town and sprinted to platform 23.
While there were some cattle waiting, definitely not the normal hordes.
I managed to snag a green dot to perch on.
NOBODY alighted at Mascot International Airport station.
And, NOBODY got on.
I lobbed into Ingleburn suburb about 15 minutes later than had I attempted the normal route from Parramatta.
I didn't loiter long at the shop, just chatted with owner Russell for about 90 minutes and searching his shelves.
I repeated my voyage back to the city with ample time to miss one or two squirts if they had no green dots available.
But, departing well before the school brat crush period, I was safe.
Back into Central I had 90 minutes to wait for the early return Bullet service, departing at 1505.
Striding along the concourse, I encountered no less than TWO ex cohorts who recognized me.
I was uncertain about them, as I had not encountered either in a goodly 17 years.
Both still toiling on the railway as drivers, but now on the interurban system.
I had planned to visit the Railway Hysterical mob book shop on the concourse, but found it SHUT.
The broom closet sized shop NOT being able to correctly social distance customers, I presumed, could not be open.
After chatting I didn't have long to await the Bullet to slink in from the Acdep service centre.
By departure time, all green dots were occupied, PLUS a couple of green dot avoiders had snuck in.
Though, my 4 square metres was still intact.
We blasted off, and passed numerous suburban platforms crammed with school brats.
NO social distancing going on there.
The only hiccup on the return voyage being a LATE running UP Rocket from Dubbo.
We were tabled to cross WT28 at the newbie Rydal crossing loop.
But, we were progressed down to the newbie crossing loop at Sodwalls where we sat waiting.
WT28 running about 25 late flashed past.
We then continued west lobbing into Bathurst about 3 minutes late.
I was happy to be back home and SAFE.
While I didn't get kicked off any trains due to them being overcrowded in compliance with social distancing.
I did see it as being a potential drama for cattle still attempting to utilize public transport.
Especially now that all school brats are back where they belong, in the classroom and consequently cramming up platforms.
And, while the Bullet guard did not say anything to the couple of green dot avoiders when he hoofed through counting heads.
I could see the coppers, who are required to frequently ride suburban cattle trains to check for social distancing, whipping out the fine book.
One wonders at the future and the return to normalcy.
When we can finally get rid of this virus.

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Old 23rd June 2020, 17:40
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Master Cutler Master Cutler is offline  
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Hi Steve, great account of your trip.
Must be quite a sad sight looking over the charred countryside.
Sounds like the police enforce the rules for anyone breaking the social distance rules.
What sort of money are people expected to fork out for a fine?
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Old 23rd June 2020, 23:34
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27vet 27vet is offline  
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Back in March, I ran the gauntlet from Florida, USA to Paris, then to London on the Eurostar. What a pleasure having almost the entire airplane and coach to myself! Before the {fake} Covid crisis, the forward journey to the USA was the usual nightmare of stuffed public transport.
Hindsight is what you see from the guard's van
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Old 24th June 2020, 04:50
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aussiesteve aussiesteve is offline
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Yes, the scorched earth does look terrible.
But, OZ is based on such events, to help propagate our eucalyptus and other indigenous foliage.
Humanity forgot that our forests rely on fire, and decided to build amongst them trees for the serenity.
Already, there are green shoots appearing on the many black trunks.
Though, many other trees were dead.
Frequent small fires are necessary, but humanity don't like fire or the clearing of undergrowth.
Hence now days our fires are horrific.
As to social distancing fines, an individual can cop a fine ranging from $1000.oo up to $1500.oo for non-compliance.
There can also be an additional much heavier fine imposed, plus gaol time if the person decides to fight it in court.
Even though parts of Aussie society seem to now be forgetting the virus restrictions, we are still suffering from it.
The Mexicans are now attempting to suffer a second wave with increasing community spread.
So, the NSW state premier has advised us Cockroaches to NOT associate with any Mexicans (Victorians).
The Croweaters were going to reopen their border, but have now decided to keep their Mexican border locked shut.
Likewise the Bananabender border remains SHUT.
Donald might spruike that this virus is FAKE.
But, with around 9 million infected world wide, and deaths approaching 500,000 I don't think that it is fake.
And, being almost an Old Fart, hence in the danger zone, I am definitely reluctant to travel on public transport.
I only decided to make the journey as Russell at Alcoworld had ordered more of me retail DVDs.
Posting them to him would have been very expensive.
I can rattle down on the Bullet freebie.
While bouncing home aboard the Bullet, I heard each and every sniff, sneeze and cough.
It is not mandated to wear face masks here when out and about.
AND, a face mask will NOT prevent the wearer from copping the virus, unless that mask is the medical variety.
The mask possibly prevents the wearer from coughing the virus at others.
One facet that I forgot to mention above, was the announcement I heard while at Central station.
The Brissy XPT service was due to depart shortly, and as the train is a booked seat service, any excess green dot cattle cannot journey.
So, I presume that there were more cattle booked for the service than green dots.
Additional omnibus services had been arranged to cart the surplus.
Mind you, with a bus only possessing 12 green dots, a number of omnibus additions were required.
BAD LUCK if you is one of the cattle excess to the train green dots.
The train possessing a buffet car provides food and drink in transit.
BUT, food and drink is NOT permitted for cattle riding the omnibus.
The omnibus halting en route at the occasional road house and the cattle stampeding off to buy drink and food and scoff it down in the 15 minutes.
PLUS, with the Bananaland border SHUT to all except for them with exemptions, the train and omnibus services would not actually reach Brissy.
As to having a jumbo jet all to yerself flapping around, that ain't gunna happen here.
When QANTAS finally gets fully airborne again here, there WILL NOT be any social distancing imposed.
Without MEGA governmental support, two thirds empty jumbo jets will not flap anywhere.
So, will anyone really want to flap about crammed in as per normal ?
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