A Melbourne company intends to provide a "private club" commuter bus service, allowing white-collar workers in Melbourne to avoid the annoying elements of public transportation, but the company founder denied that this new service would create a class of commuters.
Next month, the newly established SuitJet company will pick up passengers in the CBD area every morning and evening.
As a possible passenger said on Tuesday, after all, "you will never know who your neighbor will be on the train."
SuitJet will initially invest three specially customized Mercedes-Benz buses for the ferry, but in a few weeks it will use Dysons Bus Services' surplus vehicles to expand its fleet.
The private bus service will depart from the selected hotel parking lot and sports field in the outer area and arrive at the CBD and Docklands drop-off locations. The first pick-up location will be determined according to passenger needs.
There are early signs that the company’s largest market may be in areas where Victoria’s public transport infrastructure is underinvested.
SuitJet co-founder Darren Heiberg said that registered users from Mernda in the northern outer city of Mexico and Caroline Springs in the west outer city showed the greatest interest in the company's new service. Neither postal area has a train station. Although the government promised to build a train station in Caroline Springs by 2016, it did not commit to invest in the Mernda railway extension.
Whittlesea Mayor Mary Lalios stated that “residents should not be forced to rely on private transportation”.
Tony Morton, chairman of the Public Transport User Alliance, said that many residents living outside the city cannot enjoy good public transport services, but they do not need to enter the city, nor can they pay for expensive private transport.
The round-trip fare for SuitJet's private bus service is 30 yuan, which is more than twice the maximum cost of using a bus card. However, Heiberg denied that the service will cause class division consequences. The former Jetstar general manager stated that he has seriously considered changing the company's name to eliminate the influence of the "suit". "Named the company SuitJet, I feel very uneasy. This will give the impression of white-collar workers, from receptionists to junior accountants to mid-level managers."
Heiberg said that this fast "business class" service may mean that professionals can spend an extra hour responding to emails in an efficient work environment instead of being stuck on the road. "Then you don't have to work for an hour after dinner with your children and tea with your wife. Public transportation is so successful that demand exceeds supply, which makes people start looking for alternative transportation."
Sara Hale, Glen Waverley event manager, has signed up for SuitJet's service. She said that when she chose to travel by bus, she often couldn't find a seat, and this week also encountered a "rude and abrupt" passenger. She hopes to be "more fashionable and comfortable" on the way to work.
The private bus service of Google employees in San Francisco, USA, has caused protests from opponents, claiming that they occupied the 9th lane of the municipal bus.
(The article is reproduced from the Internet)