Monday, November 22, 2004

Grass Roots, Lo-Tech

The people of Sydney enjoyed a day of free trains today thanks to the actions of one woman, Rebecca Turner a legal secretary and disgruntled rail passenger. Ms Turner was apparantly so frustrated by Sydney's constantly late train service that she began a protest movement to convince other train users to make today, the 22nd of November, a fare-free day. Ms Turner did this by hand delivering fliers on the platforms of Central train station in Sydney. This led to media interest which in turn created a groundswell of support. Despite cries of protest from the government and city rail authorites who proclaimed that any passenger caught without a ticket would be fined to the full extent of the law, the Premier Mr Bob Carr was forced to bow to public pressure and declare the day an official fare-free day.

The problem is that the Rail authority has now lost $5 million dollars on the day and tomorrow the service will be just as bad as before. However, it definitely puts the issue in the public and therefore the political eye, and it was all achieved with a few slips of paper, one determined woman and a lot of angry customers. Congratulations to all involved.

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