General Toxic Custard newsletter

What should I blog about?

Happy new year!

Noting that the most-viewed and commented-upon blog posts of last year were all transport-related (yeah this blog has moved to mostly transport in the past few years), I’m wondering what topics people might be interested in for posts this year.

I have a number already in the works, but if you’d like to nominate a topic, please leave a comment.

* * *

Suggestions made on Twitter:

  • Maybe a few posts about what the biggest influences on making PT better we’re/are in Melb, Australia, and international contexts (with parallels?) And both local, regional and intercity contexts?
  • Bike safety, bike lanes, etc in Melbourne
  • Dandenong line transformation, such a massive project I imagine there is lots to write about
  • Suburban bus services & how routes could be restructured to improve travel times & integration with other modes
  • Enhancing #myki with smartphone apps. Exploiting NPP. What’s the best practice from around the world?

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

20 replies on “What should I blog about?”

Changes in technology in the Melbourne transport system. Train control, upgraded buses (hopefully the contract reviews bring this on). You should also go out to La Trobe and give their driverless bus a try, I’d be keen for a review!

Accessibility issues across the transport system.

You seem to do well enough without suggestions. Perhaps in late March you might give us a review of your air conditioner experience over summer. A further thought, maybe you could write a piece about how you balance criticism of Victoria’s public transport system with the need to keep good relations with those who control it and run it, including politicians.

– Can you share any thoughts, suggestions and solutions on how state and federal governments can plan and implement high-speed rail in Australia?
– If you were Victorian Transport Minister, what would you do to improve and advance Victoria’s and Melbourne’s public transport system to the 21st century? And what partnerships would you like to form to help you plan and fund this projects such as political colleagues, construction companies and public/private sectors?
– Can you also delve into the psychology of specific opponents to infrastructure projects past, present and future like CD9 and Frankston line elevated rail, East West Link, City Loop, North East Link and West Gate Tunnel?
– Thoughts on Maglev transport system found in Shanghai, China?
– When is it the best time to duplicate, triplicate or quadruplicate transport corridors? e.g. Caufield – Dandenong, Burnley – Camberwell, Box Hill – Ringwood, Gowrie – Upfield, Greensborough – Eltham, Dandenong – Cranbourne, Ferntree Gully – Upper Ferntree Gully

Love your blog Daniel. All I want to read about is sustainable transport solutions and pedestrian safety related post. It would be great if you regularly review the progress of some of the city transforming projects that are ongoing, eg. Metro tunnel, HCMT, LXRP, upgrade of Pakenham-Sunbury line, regional rail revival, business case for the airport train.

I also think we should always keep pressure on the politicians to successively and effectively implement PTV’s network development plan and keeping politics out of it. That’s why public awareness is the most important factor. Your blog is playing a vital role there. Please always keep it as your main focus area.

I enjoy most of your blog topics.
* public transport (you are an expert but from the people’s point-of-view). Exposing weird things PTV do or timetabling disasters is instructive and fun.
* your interstate and overseas trips. I like your descriptive writing style
* Pictures of 10 years ago – scary!
I’m not a tech person, so those blogs are not my favourites.
Keep up the good work!

Benefit-cost of requiring production of trains and trams in Victoria versus global sourcing (e.g. the approach taken in Sydney recent tram and train orders)

Hi Daniel,

I value your opinion regarding home sound systems as well as software expertise. As I am looking to install a decent system for the first time in my own residence, I’d enjoy reading about any plans you have to upgrade yours.

Nothing much to comment on
I’m just here because we have the same first and last name
Thanks Wikipedia

Hi Daniel

1) Frequency/coverage trade-off
2) Potential new East-West PT routes (i.e. non-radial) for Melbourne based on existing and/or future need, regardless of technology (trains, trams buses)
3) Potential PT airport routes apart from the CBD-Tullamarine based on existing and/or future need, regardless of technology



I would like to see more now and then photos.

I like stories on small business.

Some footy stuff.

Masterchef / MKR critique.

Little bit of prn maybe?

Etiquette for the use of the ‘priority seats’ on public transport and the ineffective legislative provisions which govern the use of these seats. As a person with mobility issues, I am regularly appalled at the behaviour of many people when it comes to the use of the priority seats. A blog post from you may help to educate people about how to appropriately use these seats. I am tired of the selfishness of many people; their ignorance and refusal to offer their seat to people in obvious need, even when asked. I am tired of catching trains where all the priority seats (especially the ones near the first door of the first carriage) are taken up by people with no obvious special needs (acknowledging that some disabilities can be ‘invisible’) in circumstances where there are other seats free further down the aisle. If a person has no ‘special need’ for a priority seat (as defined in the legislation) and there are other seats free elsewhere on the train, surely proper etiquette is to leave the priority seat free in case someone gets on the train who needs it? The current legislative provisions on the use of priority seats are not helpful in that they place an unfair burden on the person needing a priority seat to ask for one. For some people with special needs, communicating a need for a seat is not always easy.

My favourite posts are the photos from 10 years ago. I’d also love to see history, and current issues for commuters. Even photos of your old computers give me a smile.
Thanks for a great blog! xx

Another one: analysis of the level crossings that aren’t getting removed. What are the reasons why, will these really be too costly to fix or its just question of time/money? Are these in a particular geographic area?

Hey Daniel,
It would be interesting if you wrote an article on how the Network Development Plan is progressing, and whether there is room for an update of sorts. It seems that a surprising amount of the projects are being started/completed, but I think that once the Metro Tunnel opens, they might avoid the Rowville line and spend the extra money on a direct airport link. (Re-posted here as requested)

Apparently passengers were being reported by AOs after the severe Camberwell delays this morning, which meant that their Mykis had exceeded the two hour limit. Maybe it’s time for a rethink on the touch off default rules if Metro and their staff can’t follow such basic principles of common sense.

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