When I had been a few days in Australia, I saw that I could reach my destination along a bus route. It would take two and a half hours to walk, so I decided to walk to the first bus stop.
Of course, I had often traveled by bus in the UK, so I thought that I knew what I was seeking. Something like this, a bit above head height – perhaps 8ft above the ground.
After I had walked for about ten minutes, I concluded that it must be an express bus route, so I would have to get further out of the city before a bus would pick me up.
After walking for about an hour, I saw a man about fifty yards ahead of me flag down a bus.
When I got to where he had been standing I looked all around at a little bit above head height, then looked all around at eye level, then looked all around at ground level.
There, fixed in the ground and coming up to about the level of my waist was the bus stop.
How did I know that it was a bus stop? Well if you look at the small print beside the picture of a white glove, You will see the words “Hail Bus.” With a brilliant feat of deduction, I worked out that the only place to hail a bus would be at a bus stop. What is more, if you look near the top, it says “Stop Number” so it must be a bus stop.
Since that time there have been many changes, but this kind of bus stop on a stumpy post is still in use.
In the more wealthy areas, there is often a wider stop that strikes me as being green instead of orange.
Here is a closeup view.
As you can see, it gives more information about the buses that stop there. Some even show the timetable when buses might arrive.
Perth is divided roughly into expanding rings; the bulls eye area is called Zone 1 and each of the rings moving outwards has a higher zone number.
If your trip is all in zone 3, for instance, you pay for a one-zone ticket.
I have to go around a lake to get to a big shopping center. If I go North around the lake to Joondalup, I cross from Zone 3 into Zone 4 and back again.
If I go South of the lake, then take a train up to Joondalup, I never leave Zone 3, so the trip costs about half as much.
If an area has a very good salesperson in it, he can often persuade the local Council to put up a seat where you can wait for the bus. An even better one might persuade the Council to put up a bus shelter like this one.
Councils don’t like the expense. Most of the cost is from vandalism.
Vandals regularly smash seats. The bench in this shelter should have three planks of wood. One has been ripped off – presumably by a chain fastened to the tow bar of a car.
A bus shelter with illuminated advertising regularly has the glass panels smashed – presumably the advertising fees pay for repairs.
If there are solid walls, they get covered with graffiti. This particular shelter has pebble-dashed walls, which means that no detailed graffiti can be displayed. Graffiti vandals no longer seem interested.
There is a dustbin to “Keep Australia Beautiful” that gets a lot of use. Vandals sometimes set fire to the plastic bins, but not very often.
You can see the tall dead tree appearing above the roof of the shelter. Dead branches and dead trees are typical of Australia. You see, the sun is the enemy, therefore a tree shouldn’t have too many leaves. That would collect too much sun.
So many trees are self-pruning – whenever leaves on two branches touch, both branches die. Sometimes the whole tree dies instead.