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Stop whingeing, Frankston line commuters. This week's train disruptions really aren't that bad.
I travelled from Moorabbin to Southern Cross on Wednesday morning, by train and by bus and then again by train.
I'd been warned to expect the worst. Trainpocalypse.
Work to remove level crossings on the Frankston line meant buses were replacing the normal train service from Moorabbin to Caulfield, and, pfft, as everyone knows, Metro can't do anything right. So why would this be any different?
Plus, morning thunderstorms were forecast. Heaven and earth were moving to conspire against me. I packed a rain jacket and an air of disappointment and headed for Moorabbin.
I found Miko chewing on a nail-thin cigarette on the benches at Moorabbin, guitar tucked under his arm, waiting for the next train. He's usually stationed on Chapel Street, but he figured he could make a few extra bucks busking for commuters forced off trains and onto buses at Moorabbin.
"These people need some entertainment," he told me.
Buskers, who rely on their wits to survive, may be some of our community's most entrepreneurial members. Unfortunately, Miko was not making much.
"Nah. People are too busy having to race through to leave a tip," he said.
Still, he was happy. Which left only me disappointed. Things went far too well at Moorabbin. A journalist never likes good news.
There were lots of Metro staff, including a large group of casuals hired for the day; they were all in good moods. And there were lots of buses.
This was the major complaint raised about the disruption – Metro had not catered for the number of commuters. Perhaps Tuesday morning was a response, because there was a veritable oversupply of buses at the station. They were lined up neatly in two rows, and the flow of commuters was directed onto first one and then the next until all were full. The coaches departed immediately.
Nary a commuter was left behind or stranded, at least that I could see. Everyone boarded, everyone got a seat. Everything was fine. Everybody calm down.
Admittedly, and let's make no bones about this, buses suck. I come from Adelaide, where we used buses instead of trams, and buses sucked over there. And they suck in Melbourne.
This article first appeared on www.theage.com.au
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