Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Car Free Village?

That's right, you heard me, leave your cars at the door.

The future?

New Zealand historian and businessman Claude Lewenz has a dream.... A community (village) without cars, these communities (villages) will be made up of about 20 village plazas, a town square and a shopping center, and it will all work without cars.

-"Melbourne-based Village Forum co-ordinator Brian Fitzpatrick said the idea of creating a Village Town was to counter urban sprawl and build a sense of community."

He also said Ballarat was the ideal place for the concept because it is within two hours within Melbourne airport, but far enough away from the "Metropolitan sprawl".

-"He said a Village Town would occupy a circular parcel of land covering 200ha with a central 50ha comprising urban development and an outer greenbelt ring of 150ha."

Fitzpatrick goes on to say that it is possible and that "it is happening", that they are just looking for a canvas to layout their plans and sends a message to the people of Ballarat saying that they would love to be your neighbours.

Examples of communities (villages) like this already exist, Poundbury, in England is inspired by Prince Charles who has also proposed the building of an "Eco-Town" in Devon which would house up to 12,000 people.

To find out more, check out: www.villageforum.com

For more information and a very informative and interesting read.

Error! Error! Myki Invat--- Invatio---- Infashon!!!!!

Yes, a welcome back is in order, I have been busy and in deep thought about many things, questioning everything and I mean everything, not just the things I don't understand and don't like.

Everything old is.... Altered again.

In this time period I have caught the bus..... MANY times and beforehand, I caught the bus..... MANY times and how has Myki been "faring" (pun intended) against the old "primitive", "show me rock." "You go on now" and the Flintstones "lift and run". No, it wasn't that bad at all, but they made it seem like it. That is the trick, to make something new you must make something old and dated.

Enter Myki!!!

So now I have a card and a bunch of men in suits informing me that it is a better system. But it isn't, it's filled with errors and problems just as any other computer program/technology is. These problems include Cards not registering, computer freezing, driving not being able to do ANYTHING (people get free rides.... Always after I have to pay), money not being able to be added, people getting charged for not "Pressing off", because they can't... The system is down, frozen or just plain old fashion "broke".


The biggest thing. Is. It. Faster?


IF there were no errors and if everyone had the proper card and could "press on" while walking past, it would be faster, but the fact is, it is not like that at all. First, a lot of the people don't have the proper plastic card, they buy the "2 hour" card, so we all line up like the primitive people in the past that were meant to be wipe out. Second, the biggest problem. The errors and having to explain what is going on to EACH person at EACH bus stop and if they have questions? Oh boy, THAT slows everything down, but even if everything is working fine, people get on, pause, "press on" the card, look at the screen and leave, same as, stop, give the drive the money and take the ticket. Except with old people are various other groups, putting card to wall isn't as easy as it may seem.

"The Best Of All Possible Worlds."

*Opposite day* (The WORST Of All Possible Worlds)

Each of these individual problems often double and even triple-up leading to an extremely slow and LATE buses. Problem 2 & 3 always go together, every morning, every night and at least twice a month problem 1 gets in on the act.

Is this better? Is this a step forward? Is it better to be a cave man or the modern man? (Sickness, life span of 25 years, not AS smart, and no.... Anything really, but aside from that......) Okay forget it. Is it better to catch the bus a year ago or to catch the bus now? More importantly....


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Myki Invasion

Myki is coming to Ballarat on Monday the 6th of April, with it brings confusion and a lot of people wondering why so much money has been chucked at this unneeded system. The saying "if it ain't broken, don't fix it" will be ringing in the back of many peoples heads. But not only is it useless, it is also more difficult to work than "hand the bus drive change", sure, its just like scanning an item at the store and we will learn to adapt and get used to it, but that is not the point.

Learning Curve:

A new "swipe card" like system that works on recharging like pre paid phone credit may be easy for a lot of people. But the government has seemed to left the others behind. I have heard MANY old people complaining about the system and trying to piece it together, Many left asking "what's the point?" How many people will we see struggling just to get on a bus, also disabled and handicapped people will face a challenge as to reaching for it and need steady hands for it to register, it seems the most needy are the least cared for. "Float or drown." Lets just see how it plays out.

Waste Of Money?:

ONE POINT THREE BILLION!!!! Are you kidding? Sadly, we are not, so not only is this practically no better than the system already in place, it also cost a HUGE amount and there are still problems with it. Apparently there is nothing else Australia could need with that amount of money than a jazzed up Public transport ticket system, will it make life a lot easier? For that price it should serve drinks and tell you the weather for the week. Could this money have gone to homeless shelters? donations? bush fire victims? Red Cross? orphanage? zoo? hospital? children's hospital? pot holes? ANYTHING other than this. Set the stuck of money alight, it will at least keep people warm. Pump it into the economy. Oh and add another 50 to 55 million a year for every year this system is up and running...... A NASA space probe only costs 3 Million. A waste? I will leave it to you to decide.

Pros & Cons:

-Will calculate the most economical fare to charge. (Travel within two hours or pay daily fare price.)
-One card for both regional and metropolitan areas. (Hey, doesn't money have that ability as well?)
-In the future could be used for such things as: parking and vending machines. (Hey, my money can do that as well.)
-"Has no moving parts to any part of the ticket system, to reduce maintenance costs of future installations." Hahahaha, yeah, you really care about saving money on this project. Here is a money savers. Never create such a unneeded systems again.
-The card can be "recharged" away from the public transport thus eliminating the requirement for cash and reducing queues at vending machines and on buses. The huge lines at the Vending machines and buses?.... Everyone still has to get on a swipe, it seems they are trying to grabbed onto any reason they can find. "You will not longer need to carry money and then a ticket." Ha.

There will be even more grand improvements once this actually gets on steady legs.

-A big one is the cost, which I have already talked about.
-Government still paying for the existing Metcard systems
-Having to touch off when not used to it, will be faced with a maximum fare penalty. (I expect to receive that many times)
-"Touch on, touch off" takes longer than takes to get on and of at the moment.
-Losing the card can mean losing a lot if you put a lot on there. A lot more than dropping a coin.
-Difficult to use for those in wheels chairs or with other disabilities such as whose who lack good hand control.

You don't need a scale to see what way this tips.

Final Verdict:

After reading many things, talking to people, hearing conversations on the bus. I deem this a failure, but they had put so much money into it, that it would be a bigger waste if they had of scrapped it, so it got to a point where they had to bring this out and just try to make it work. The point is, it is a huge waste of time resources and money. They should think twice about something before they commit to it like they did with this, maybe something more useful.

There is no need whatsoever to have this system put in place or have even had the chance to leave the drawing board. Once again, the government fail to meet the real needs of the people and instead waste money on something no one wants, no one needs, but we will get told by advertisements it's a good thing, so at least some people will believe it is.

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

Only the beginning.....


The Ballarat National Anarchist's have a space to lodge their opinion, news articles, and general discussion.

Now, we are not expert journalist bloggers, so give us some time to sharpen up. Like a fine wine, we will only improve with time. Also like a fine wine, we hope to taste better with time, so sit around, listen, watch, learn, think and most importantly, GET ACTIVE!

It's only the beginning...... The home of Australian rebellion is about explode!