Modes of Transportation; An Alternative to Owning an Automobile

The Boeing 747 landed on the tarmac at Brisbane Airport on the 2nd day of February 2002, the temperature when we landed was 29 degrees Celsius (84F) the sweat poured down the side of my face as I used several napkins to control this initial blast of heat.

List of Vehicles Used  

Ages 28 to 30

For the next couple of years as I studied at Queensland College of Art in South Bank, Brisbane there was no need to own a vehicle and I did not feel it necessary to purchase a bicycle like many other students did. Instead I opted to use the big 4-public transportation types.

The bus was my go-to mode of transportation as it was direct shot from my house on the East side of Brisbane down to South Bank. It would take approximately 10 to 15 minutes depending on whether it was heavily raining or strong winds. Otherwise just general traffic issues. The bus was a fantastic option for travel with its plethora of car pool and bus-only lanes all over the City.

The second mode of public transportation I used frequently was the CityFerry as it crossed Brisbane River back and forth along both the north and south banks of the river. This little commuter ferry ran every 20-minutes from any entry/exit point along a 40 kilometre (25 mile) stretch of the river. It held up to 30-passengers.

Ironically the CityFerry was never full of passengers. Usually there was up to four people using the ferry. The only exceptions were Friday nights when younger people were traveling across the river to the City for a night out on the town. The CityFerry ran from 5am-to-8pm daily.

For unknown reasons many people skipped waiting for the smaller Ferry and would take the much larger CityCat for its faster times across the water and more spacious platform.

The CityCat held up to 100-passengers and traveled longer distances up and down the river. The cost of the CityCat was an extra $2.00 unless you had your college ID with you, or you had the correct monthly pass.

The CityCat was used when we had to travel between our University in South Bank down river to other Universities where our sports teams were competing. Usually I stayed off the CityCat because of the up charge to use the larger ferry.

Sure it was fast like 10-minutes from Point A to Point B along any two river points of entry and exit but it lacked that certain je ne sais quoi (special quality) that you would get when riding the CityFerry. Perhaps its because on the CityFerry you were allowed to stand beside the captain of the ferry and have a host of conversations. Whereas on the CityCat they were hidden from passengers up in their driver’s cockpit.

My other favourite mode of transportation was the Queensland Rail system as I used this for longer distance travel and with the monthly student public transportation pass this too was included in the fares. You could hop on the train at any point and be sitting at Wellington Point in twenty-four minutes playing on the beaches that ran up and down the Pacific Ocean. Or if you wanted to go into the desert there was a train for this ride too.

Nearing the end of my two-years in Brisbane I had traveled around Australia using a plethora of public transportation and had not missed owning a vehicle or motorcycle of my own. Plus by using all of the styles of transportation I had saved money which was spent on far more awesome things like a live abroad scuba diving trip on the southern section of the Great Barrier Reef!

~ Aaron JacksonCrabb