Why train travel is off the track for me
Published 24/06/2008 | 08:00
Ciaran Rogan of Translink writes about public transport saving so much on commuter journeys (Belfast Telegraph, June 19).
It is a very one-sided debate and does not consider many points.
I had to write as I feel strongly about this and feel that it would be beneficial for Translink to know some of the real reasons why more people don't use their services.
There are lots of things to consider before taking the train to work and the amount you would actually save is nearly half what is said in the article because it seems to take in the price of the actual car.
Most people would not save on the cost of the car/tax/insurance for they would still need a car for weekend use. That amount should not have been brought into the calculation.
There are a couple of other points I would like to highlight.
The public transport timetables mean you could easily add extra time to your journey home on waiting for the next train.
I'm thinking of the timetable for the train from Belfast to Ballymena.
Basically, you can't arrive home until around 5.35pm if you finish work at 4pm. This is because the times for trains leaving for Ballymena are 4pm or 4.47pm.
Obviously, if you leave work at 4pm, you would never make the 4pm train, so it means waiting approximately 40 minutes.
This is one of the reasons I don't use the train.
There is also the fact that you can buy a monthly ticket for the train, but it's a calendar month, which means that on days when you can't take the train you are losing out.
It would be good to have an x-journey ticket, as available on the buses, which expires after a period of time, even a month and a half.
This way you could use the train for most of the month and not lose out on the days when public transport would not be suitable.
I would use the train for my commuter journeys but for the above points.
I just thought it might be worth giving my feedback as it may help Translink increase the number of people that use their services.