Living in London, I've come to appreciate just how good Londoners have it with relation to public transport. Yes, grumbling about the Tube is a local pastime in London (much in the way that complaining about the decline of Britain has been a British national pastime for the past two centuries at least), but at least the system works. You can rock up to a Tube station and expect a train in the direction you want to go in within 10 minutes at worst. Meanwhile, buses run in every possible direction, with a good number of routes running 24 hours a day (usually at 15-minute frequencies). In London, you can just about get anywhere from anywhere by public transport; there's even a pretty impressive website which, for any two points, will give you a list of options. In Melbourne, your options are limited; the railway network has a star topology, buses (other than the ones formerly run by the tramway authority) run limited hours, and after midnight, the whole system stops. (Except for Night Rider buses, which run only on Friday and Saturday nights, require special, premium-rate tickets, and run hourly on half a dozen routes.)At the turn of the year, London's public transport fares (which, already, aren't the world's cheapest) increased by about 10%; however, that money is going into expanding and improving the system. And there's a vast number of projects going on or being planned. In the next few years, at least one Tube line (the East London line) is being extended in both directions, a mainline rail link (Crossrail) running east-west under London will be built, and a new Docklands Light Railway branch line is being built; not to mention several tramways in various parts of the metropolis. Melbourne's rises, however, get swallowed up by the costs of bailing out private investors panicked by fare evasion and putting out fires, leaving nothing left for anything resembling vision. The government officially has a goal of having 20% of journeys made by public transport by 2020 (or such), but actually achieving that is going to take supernatural intervention. When patronage increased, capacity could not keep up, so the operators' solution was to remove seats from trams, creating standing-room-only vehicles with a few seats reserved for the elderly and infirm.
Please keep comments on topic and to the point. Inappropriate comments may be deleted.
Note that markup is stripped from comments; URLs will be automatically converted into links.