Tuesday, January 27, 2009

While you're doing that could you please be gentle?

I was thinking what the most appropriate response would be to the NSW State Government's new increase in toll charges for cars heading into the city in peak hour. The idea is that they bumped up the toll to $4 to get extra cash under the camouflage net of attempting to help alleviate peak hour congestion. The toll is actually reduced if you travel when everyone is either asleep, at work, at school, playing golf or in the pub. No-one bought the congestion reduction excuse for a second. Its simply a tax hike and the local motoring club has called for proof of life for the congestion reduction theory. Surprise surprise it wasn't provided by the gummint because it simply doesn't exist.
Sydney people only drive across the bridge or through the tunnel in peak hour because they mostly goddammed have to. Its not an enjoyable experience for most commuters. It ain't something you'd really choose to do. Its done out of necessity because of either non-existent public transport alternatives or to beat a combination of bus-bus-train-change train connections, and child care and school drops, which would mean you start your trip at 5.30 a.m. and get to work 3 hours later. That's if the bus actually showed up. An hour by car is the least painful, despite the expense and the not-funny breakfast radio teams. (which reminds me that its about time they do 'Secret Sound', 'Random Act of Kindness' or 'Battle of the Sexes' again.) Sure it'd be nice if there were a heap more trains and buses and they went to places where people live and work and did so on time, but I think both Walt Disney and Mussolini are dead so we can rule out such fantasies.
So another tax is jacked up and we're meant to say 'thank you'. Well while you're reaming us please be gentle oh Great Government of New South Wales. At the next election we promise to be gentle with you. We really mean it. Honest.

*disclaimer - I commute by public transport but in the past have through necessity had to drive to work. I'm glad I no longer have to.


  1. It's gouging, effectively a tax on car use. What proves any claim of trying to improve emissions etc is rubbish is that (AFAIK) motorcycles and scooters pay the same toll (on the bridge and tunnel at least). Love to see the figures that show a 125cc scooter emits the same amounts of climate-change crap as a turbodiesel V8 Land Cruiser.

  2. The pollies up here are rooted too. Probably not as rooted as yours though.

  3. I'm so old I recall them saying the toll would be dropped when the Brit cash that paid for it was paid off. That was 20 fucking years ago wasn't it? Cunts.

  4. Dr Yobbo - it is indeed gouging. Its a bullshit tax increase.
    Lermie - yeah and we gotta wait 18 months before we can oust the buggers
    Bedes - and we believed them at the time. We truly are suckers.

  5. While I can't intelligently comment on your particular situation, Illinois has plenty of toll roads that I wouldn't mind seeing go away. Those interstates have been paid for a long time ago.

  6. YD - what they do here in Sydney is get private enterprise to build them with higher than real forecasts on usage, hence the revenue streams don't hit targets. The toll operators then get into financial shit.
    Then they need taxpayer funds to help them out. So we get screwed both at the toll gate and through consolidated revenue expenditure. In other words we get reamed twice if we use the toll roads, once if we don't.

  7. You forgot to say "Thank you mr Carr, Thank you mr iemma, could you use some vaseline mr rees"