A city as sophisticated and elegant as Melbourne Still does not have transport from its airports into the city.
Here I am, on a Friday evening in third world Africa, saying good-bye to my ‘baby’ Jessica, at the main Oliver Tambo Airport. Painless the travel was, 30 minutes from home to airport, and when I was ready to go back, 35 minutes from airport to my front door
There is a distance of 33km, as the crow flies, from Sandton, where we ‘live’ to the airport. This can take more than an hour on the freeway, and longer if there is a traffic hiccup, which of course sounds quite familiar to my Melbourne ‘family’.
Except there is
Conceived in 2000 and completed in 2010 (imagine Melbourne thinking that far ahead!!). I visited during the construction and there was disruption, no denying that. In some of the busiest parts of the city where large, sophisticated stations were built.
And we quietly muttered and grumbled and navigated our way around construction sites where there should have been roads.
And it cost heaps, estimated at SAR 3.5bill it ended up costing in excess of SAR25bill.
And it created jobs – heaps of them; more than 120 000 jobs and 15 000 courses for unskilled and management were made available.
It has 80km of dual railway line, 30km of tunnels and includes ten new stations. 11km of new bridges.
Other interesting trivia is that it involved about seven and a half million cubic meters of spoil [ph] and the tender papers took 7 hours to deliver and took up 18.5cu metres!!!!
A really a massive project –
As I said, Melbourne,
a big commitment.
But oh, does it work. For a fair cost, one can park in the parking provided (and there is enough) get on a spotless, quiet train that leaves every 12 minutes and takes less than 20 minutes to deliver you right to the airport.
Why, oh why can a cities like Johannesburg and Pretoria plan and work together to create a state of the art commuter system to their major airport and Melbourne has a gridlock drive, hugely expensive parking and slow unreliable buses into the city and then perhaps if you lucky into the suburbs.