transport TV

Now arriving at Footscray

This new TV series portrays issues (including transport) from a teenager’s perspective

ABC ME has a new series called Turn Up The Volume.

Like everything on the channel, it’s aimed at school-aged kids, so perhaps isn’t normally my cup of tea, but given it’s set in and filmed around Footscray, an area I’m quite familiar with, I was intrigued.

As this Age review notes, it’s engaging for adults.

While the main storyline is the characters getting a band together, a prominent theme is acceptance of gender diversity – which I know is an important issue to many of the younger people in my extended family.

There are some interesting subplots, and of course a couple related to public transport caught my eye. And I don’t just mean the fake bus stop totem they set up opposite Footscray station (see lead photo).

One of the teenage characters, Breeze, wants the freedom to catch a train on her own, to go where and when she wants, not be given a lift all the time by her helicopter parents.

Another character, Hex, struggles to afford the train fare from Ballarat, noting that it’s $23 a day.

Hex: "Well, the train ticket to Melbourne is, like, $23 a day"

Given this character is also a teenager, this is correct – the peak concession daily fare is currently $22.80.

Would they always pay the peak fare? Probably not. But you’re hardly likely to have this detail in the dialogue, unless Hex is also a gunzel.

And whether it’s $22.80 or $15.96, it’s perhaps a good (fictional) example of the problems of fare affordability and how it affects access to opportunity.

At that price, it’s difficult for the character, who has little money, to travel into Melbourne regularly.

The series seems to have been filmed last year, when masks were still mandatory on public transport – and which means they couldn’t work in this week’s big V/Line price cut as a plot resolution!

From this Friday, Hex would only pay $4.60 per day.

Or perhaps that’s in there… I’ve still got a few episodes to watch.

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.

6 replies on “Now arriving at Footscray”

On a bus gunzel perspective, that’s a Dysons bus in the background – which don’t run any routes through Footscray except for the occasional rail replacement service.

Wait to Hex and every other regional teen discover the new concession fare on weekends is $3.35 return…

The ultimate “just dropped”

@Marcus, it looks like they chartered a Dyson’s bus for filming. One scene shows the main characters on the bus, with the distinctive Dysons window coverings visible.

I need to double-check, but I think another scene shows a bus departing Footscray to “Glenroy”… No such route!

I guess regional teens will get less pocket money from their parents from 31 March since they don’t need so much for public transport. A savvy parent could put this money aside to pay their kids’ uni fees upfront. Win win!

I looked at the pictures on TV Tonight, and I do believe that I saw a picture with a Transit Systems bus as well, and Footscray Station is a major hub for Transit Systems.

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