Thursday, 24 May 2007

On the way into the city on the Bullet Bus

I'm on the coach service which is the Bullet Bus (www.bulletbus.com.au) which I decided I would trial for 1 month to see how I go. This morning, I bulked up my shoes with extra insoles to cope with the two hikes to and from work between the bus stop which is on the Northern end of town. I was prepared to walk! I left the house at 6.50am and walked down to the Ettamogah Hotel where the bus/coach was waiting.

I hopped on but the bus driver wasn't able to help me purchase any tickets as it was his first day too! So I've left my name and mobile number with the driver. I just hope I manage to work out where to catch the afternoon bus! (And leave work on time -- about 5.30pm -- to make it to the 6pm bus).

The BulletBus coach is very comfy, and doesn't have that awful rubber/plastic smell that seems to permeate the Hillbus. I constantly feel like I'm going to puke with the stench of rubber when I get on the 6.12 pm 616 bus from the city! And then the bus driver is one of those on/off brake people... but that could be a problem with the buses themselves.

The main driving forces for me to start the BulletBus is the timesaving but more importantly is the poor service of Hillsbus and the awful smell of rubber/plastic! The BulletBus would be convenient if I worked near Wynyard, but I'm near World Square / Chinatown so it makes life a bit more difficult. But I figure I'd get some exercise by walking to and from the bus stop. It just needs me to leave work on time. I suppose the times I do miss my cut off point to leave work I can always default to the stinky bus!

The other benefits about BulletBus (v Hillsbus) include:
  • the fact I don't need to carry cash around all the time! I'm constantly running out of cash due to having to catch the bus;
  • Space! I can use my laptop without having to take one of the seats that is taller than others so I can slightly overhang the seat in front to fit!
  • Cushy/Comfy seats
  • Non stinky bus (ooh I think I've mentioned this before :) )
  • Non stop service -- this is the main selling point of the bus trip. I can do a "direct" trip from home to the city. Hmm... maybe I should be looking for a new job closer to Wynyard? ;)

So far, so good. Traffic on the M2 still sucks, but at least we're rolling along. This happens on the early (6.30am) 616X bus anyway and even that bus gets me into work before 8am. Thank goodness for the Lane Cove Tunnel.

I urge anyone who is in the area to give the BulletBus a go. I think it's a fantastic service even though it's more expensive than a Hillsbus trip, I think the extra is worth it.

Tuesday, 8 May 2007

I haven't posted for a while so there is a fair amount to catch up on. One of the things I'd like to make note of are the things that are available to us in the local area of Kellyville Ridge.

Internet
I can reassure people that we are able to get ADSL 2 although we were unable to get Optus Cable in this area. We use TPG

3G Phone - Three
I use a 3G Three Data card all the way into the city and also have a 3 Mobile phone and reception at our place seems to be fine.

Transport
I'm now catching a 616x bus into the city which is run by Hillsbus. Whilst I miss Busways, the Lane Cove Tunnel Express (as marked by the x in the bus route) gets me into the city in a reasonable amount of time. I have readjusted my bus to the 6.50am bus and get into work by 8.30am. (The 6.30am bus was getting me into the office 7.45am which was too early!). My return trip I try and get on the 5.52pm bus (from World Square bus stop) and it's getting me home by 7.30pm at the latest.

The bus costs me $5.60 each way. There is no discount for a return ticket although a weekly ticket is only $48. Unfortunately I miss too many buses to make this worthwhile.

At least now I have other options if I'm late as I can catch the Train to Parramatta and then the T65 from Parramatta Station which goes on the T-way all the way to Merriville Road.

Another option is the BulletBus which is a fantastic non stop service (and just down the road from home!!) but only stops at Wynyard Park in the city... working down near World Square and having limited services coming home just makes this too hard! The other thing I love about the BulletBus idea is no requirement for cash! I really hate it when I find I only have a $50 note in the morning and need to get on the bus...

Shopping
Our closest shops are Stanhope Gardens. Recently a K-mart has opened there which makes it very handy.
Of course we appreciate the local Bunnings (Norwest) and Supercheap Auto (Norwest) too! We've recently visited our local