I have just finished a photo shoot with the local paper, with the story being about the looming oil crisis and how our town has been listed in a report as the #1 affected community by rising oil prices in Victoria.
This is the rub. We have no industry to speak of, we are totally dependent on transportation for food, with no major food production close by except for Bacchus Marsh which is about 15km away, our bus routes around town are minimal, and the entire town is just one big suburb that you have to drive everywhere to do anything. We have a railway station and a rail link to the city, but no rail freight facilities. This community will be heavily hit when the supply of cheap oil is over taken by demand again due to the low socio-economic demographic. This is one of the two reasons I founded the Melton Sustainable Living Group, the other being climate change.
Anyway, enough about the town. I had the Honda Civic Hybrid out on the street, being photgraphed doing my best Blue Steel. Ben even had a few shots with me. I had to keep moving the car off of the street everytime someone wanted to go past as the photographer wanted a shot of the car and I at an angle across the entire street. I am glad it was a quiet morning. I was interviewed on Thursday over the phone, so when it hits the press, I post up the link. The interview was basically about the benefits of travelling to the city by rail compared to driving in an average family car. Here is a comparison of various modes of transport which includes emissions from public transport in Victoria so you can what I mean (I believe the three car modes indicate taxis);
(g CO2-e per
Ethanol (E10) Car
Ethanol (E10) Bus
Natural Gas Bus
Diesel Train (V/Line
So, basically the V/Line train that I catch is not only the most environmentally friendly way to get to the city, it is also much cheaper than the fuel and the total running costs of a car (even a hybrid). Once you add in the yearly cost for vehicle insurance, registration, maintenance and licence renewal, public transport wins hands down cost wise. Seeing a daily train ticket is only $10.60 (full fair, zone 1 & 2) for all buses, trams and trains you want to use, I figure it would cost me about $4 in fuel and at least $13 in parking fees if I drove. That is a $7 dollar direct saving per day, even when you don’t take the indirect cost of running a car into account.
As I do live in a town where I needed a car, I chose the most fuel efficient one I could lease at the time. After 3 years I now own it, and my cost are even lower because I have ceased to drive it to work, catching the train instead. Yes, I still have to use petrol, but I have found that I only use 40L in two months. Now that has to be good. I walk where I can, and will be riding more when my back heals fully from this latest relapse that occured in August. I am nearly ready to get back on the bike!
To end the post I thought I would include some Hybrid fun by the way of a video by Casual Mafia. I love this clip.
Here is to travelling green and using less fossil fuels, mainly because soon we just will not be able to afford to!