People are shuffling on and off. Everyone is rushing to pick a seat. The voice over the loud speaker is warning riders to stand back from the closing doors. Despite all of the chaos, everyone is calm and peaceful. Taking in these surroundings, I claim my window seat on the train and enjoy the beautiful landscape of Sydney passing by me.
Described above is the typical life of a commuter in Sydney. Whether it is by train, bus, or ferry, Sydneysiders are always on the go and utilizing the excellent public transportation that their city has to offer. When in such a massive, bustling city like Sydney, it is imperative to use one of the many modes of transportation that are offered. During the few weeks that I have resided in Sydney, I have taken a bus, train, or ferry almost every day and I have enjoyed every experience.
Like many other students on my program, I use public transportation to commute to my internship three times a week. Alongside the rest of the business men and women of Sydney, I walk to Central Station, which is located about 10 minutes from my apartment, to catch a train that takes me west of the city to my office. Since my internship location is rather far from where I am living, I have to take a 40-minute train ride and then another 10-minute train ride in order to get to my office. Although the commute is long, I actually enjoy this part of my day, as it gives me time to see the suburbs outside of the city and enjoy a cup of coffee.
When I first arrived in Sydney, I was surprised to find how similar the public transportation was to that of the University of Pittsburgh. At Pitt, our student IDs give us access to any mode of public transportation with just a swipe of our card. Similar to that concept, everyone on my program here in Sydney received a card called an Opal Card. This card is the method in which you pay for your transit fares so that there is no need to carry cash around. For us, the people in charge of our program, CAPA, would constantly be loading money onto our cards so that we would never run out. There was no limit as to how many times you could use the card, so we were free to travel using public transportation whenever we pleased.
I really enjoy using Sydney’s public transportation because of the variety of modes of transport and for its reliability. I also like it because you are able to travel to almost anywhere with just one card. It was so convenient to not have to worry about paying for transit fares or Uber fees all of time. This allowed me the opportunity to be able to explore Sydney in a unique and exciting way and truly learn my way around the city.
Stay tuned for my next post to learn more about my Sydney adventures, one train ride at a time!