How dirty is our transport? Part 1

How often do you ride with the public transport? How do you think about the cleanliness of our public transport?

In the definition of hygiene, we could divide to two perspectives, firstly, which is visible, for example, the amount of rubbish and trash in that public space. Secondly, a much more micro perspective, in terms of measuring the amount of germs and dirt in that space. We would talk about the more visible perspective here.

The Sydney Trains always received a huge number of complaints from passengers, about the dirty trains and unclean stations.  Rubbish and trash on train carriage is a very common situation in Sydney train, while the Newcastle/Central Coast Line was the dirtiest with the most complaints.

The most frequently seen rubbish on the train is newspapers and leftovers, most of them occupying the seats or on the floor, which definitely not sounds appealing to anyone to walk or sit closer to that.  Some of the passengers really couldn’t bear with the mess and feel angry with that, and even took a picture of it to tell others.

Apart from rubbish, graffiti is a problem on public transport in Australia. Although graffiti is not affecting the passengers directly like the rubbish and trash mentioned earlier, it would also make the passengers feel like being in an untidy and unclean space. Not only in New South Wales, but in Victoria, the train carriage is also couldn’t escape from the graffiti.

The X’Trapolis Train is full of graffiti.

Given that the ‘Mousetrap’ technology introduced into the Sydney train, for effectively catch the graffiti committer on site, the graffiti problem on Sydney train has slightly improved. However, on the perspective of buses, graffiti still could not separate from every inch of space in the bus carriage. Apart from graffiti that made with traditional pen and spray-paint, scratchiti on the window is also making the environment uncomfortable inside the carriage.

Grafitti on a Sydney Bus.JPG
Sydney bus interior.

Do you also feel uncomfortable as a passenger due to the unclean and messy environment inside the carriage of transport? While this is only the first part of “How dirty is our transport?”, we will later look closer to our consuming space in public transport, in a micro perspective, to reveal the hardly visible side of our dirty transport. At the same time, we should start reflecting for the causes of this level of dirtiness, who are responsible for our dirty transport and who would suffer from that.



[Online] BUDD, H 2013. ‘Public continue to lodge complaints about dirty Sydney trains despite overhaul of cleaning staff’. THE DAILY TELEGRAPH, 21 October. Accessed 7 September 2016, <>


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Filthy trains and Frankston line pork barrelling


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