People can’t afford to get to work, and I’m not surprised

People can’t afford to get to work, and I’m not surprised

A touch of occasional gout, the odd induction of arthritic pain through my knees, and a grinding noise emanating from my hip region.

When I was younger, it wasn’t uncommon to hail a ride to the nearest town.

Even if it wasn’t dangerous to hitchhike, my aching muscles wouldn’t allow me to get to the highway before sunset.

No mongrel would pick me up anymore either.

Not because I’m old with aforementioned ailments. Just that people don’t do that sort of thing.

Don’t worry. I’m not in a position to be throwing stones from this little glass house.

People who generally ask for lifts from the side of the road have been walking a bit, usually in sunny conditions, and usually through knee-high grass.

The prickles and the sweaty bodies are the first deterrent, never mind the risk of picking up a serial killer who’s motive for throwing out a thumb is to hold you at knife-point, steal your car and dump your body in the nearest barrel.

True, I may have been watching too many John Jarratt movies, and I’m not doing the reputation of good old-fashioned honest, free-thinking travelers any joy.

But welcome to the real world.

Over the past week, I was reading a report which showed that there are people who could no longer travel to work.

It is true that this report was focused on New South Wales where – evidenced by State of Origin performances – they crumble under any sort of pressure.

Also granted, that anyone in Sydney who travels more than a suburb from home to work must carry a small office in their vehicle, a packed lunch for emergencies, and a bag of small change for excessive toll roads.

Public transport is the go-to in their culture, but even then, the average commuter is up for $20 a day just to be paid an honest quid.

That’s more than $5000 a year that comes straight off the bottom line of pay packets, off the mortgage, away from the dinner table, and never to see a thread of interest from the bank.

Bringing it back to Logan, we have our own problems.

You see, I envy Sydney-siders and Melbournians who are able to reliably wait no far from their front door for a bus that arrives every 20 minutes, a train which is more often than not on time, or a ferry.

People in Brisbane are seeing glimpses of this convenience. There is a river there that connects some suburbs, and places with a reliable rail network.

I’m not often seen on public transport, but when I have had reason to get to the city, I’ve been forced to tap Wanda on the shoulder for a lift to the station.

I then sit in quandary. Do I take the next train which stops at all stations, or wait for the express version that whistles me into the city at 80km/hour.

And before some rail nazi bangs on at me for not checking how fast these things actually go, I do know they can go up to 140km/hour. But do they?

What I do know, having looked through the public transport app, is that a 10-minute car ride from my house to Jimboomba would take more than an hour by bus.

I also know that a bus ride from Beenleigh to Springwood would be almost as long, that if I want to get to Hyperdome to do some shopping I’d have to visit about 13 suburbs, and if I ever wanted to catch a game of local rugby league, I’d be stuck with weekend timetables not designed for this old beast.

It’s no wonder there’s a group of people who believe Covid was the best thing since sliced bread, only to be told by a government keen to support city retailers that they now have to get out of their pyjamas and into a caboose.

It’s a damn shame that the $20 a day they’ll be spending for the privilege won’t be ending up in the pockets of shop owners because the poor old worker’s skipping lunch to keep up with the mortgage.

Who’d have thought Point A to Point B would be so darn difficult?

Hey Wanda, where did you put the car keys? I think we’re out of bread.

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