Using public transportation is a big part of my day to day life in Sydney. Whether I am travelling to work or just exploring Sydney, I use public transportation. Sydney has a good public transportation system that is easy to use and sometimes more efficient than walking or taking an Uber. Most people in Sydney use public transportation, particularly the trains when travelling to work. Taking public transportation is a big part of daily work life. It is a way to relax or catch up with work before the work day starts.
At the start of the program, everyone was given an Opal card which is a card with money loaded onto it to use for public transportation. CAPA covers the expenses made on the cards so we do not have to worry about continually loading money onto the card. CAPA monitors our balances and adds more money to our OPAL cards when the balance is low. When we are entering a train station or boarding a bus, we just have to tap on and off and the amount is deducted from our cards. It is very easy to use.
I often use public transportation to get to my internship. I am interning for Baseball NSW/ Sydney Blue Sox and their office is located about 1.5 hours away from my housing. My commute is very long each morning, and it is difficult because I have to get there by 9:00 am. The public transportation is easy to use, but the only difficulty is timing everything. I have to take a train to one stop then either take a bus or walk over a mile to work. The bus comes every 30 minutes, so I have to plan out my commute, so I do not miss the bus and have to walk instead. Also, the bus sometimes comes early or late, so it makes it difficult to catch. However, when it is nice outside, I typically walk to get to my internship site. The worst part about my commute is the long travel time, but other than that it is fine. It is a good way to relax and work on school work before the work day starts.
Before coming to Sydney, I was not comfortable using public transportation and would get confused but commuting for my internship has made me more comfortable with public transportation. At Pitt, I would only use the buses, which are easy to use but I never used the train at Pitt. Living in Sydney has made me more comfortable with using the trains.
I also use public transportation to travel throughout Sydney. If I am going somewhere that is not within walking distance, the trains are the most efficient option. I use the train a lot to get to The Rocks (where the Sydney opera house is), to explore new restaurants, and to get to the beach. I am typically travelling with a group of people, so it is easier to navigate than doing it by myself.
For class, I do not have to use public transportation and can just walk. My class is about 15 minutes away from my hotel. This is pretty similar to my walk to class at Pitt, so I was used to it. The weather is typically pretty nice even for it being winter here, so I enjoy being outside and walking to class.
Coming into Sydney, public transportation was one of my concerns since I did not use it much at Pitt. I have troubles navigating and I was worried it would be difficult. After using public transportation often, I have gotten more comfortable with it. Especially with my 1.5-hour commute to work, I have gotten better at using the public transportation. Most people in my program have 10-15-minute walk to work, which is unfair, but I have learned a lot from my commute to work.
Commuting has been a great learning experience. If you are like me and do not prefer to use public transportation, it is best to keep an open mind and stay calm. I would often travel in groups before I felt more comfortable with using the public transportation. It seems confusing at first, but with more practice you will feel more comfortable.