All posts by Kenny C

Transport tips while travelling to and from the airport

Before leaving for the airport, it would be great to spend some time trying to learn about the requirements first. For example, the increasing cases of national security around the world have ensured that some items are restricted and would never be allowed inside the airport or on the plane. Therefore, learn about the restricted items and avoid carrying them when travelling. Hazardous chemicals, explosives and firearms must never be part of the luggage a traveller carries when going to any airport. Also, to simplify the check in process, try carrying smaller and lighter luggage. Travellers are better off carrying luggage into the cabin.

You choose to travel to and from the airport using a car, train, taxi, car rental services or by bike. The other option would be to travel to and from the airport using limousines, buses, or shuttles. Before choosing the best mode through which to travel, find out about the cost. This would be vital in preparing a proper and detailed budget. Some options are costlier than others.

Limousine or chauffeured minibus services may be a good option

Hiring a limousine or chauffeured service may seem expensive but in some cases can be actually cheaper than a taxi, as we all know that taxi drivers love to bump up their prices as soon as they hear the word “airport”. Travelling by a chauffeured car is a very convenient option. This is because the traveller does not have to worry about finding the best and shortest route to or from the airport. The chauffeur or tax driver has the sole responsibility of finding the fastest route to and from the airport. This ensures that the traveller arrives at the airport or any preferred destination in a relaxed frame of mind. Or if you have a large group then minibuses are the best option for families and friends travelling together.

If you decide to drive, make sure you know the exact directions to the airport. Work out about the average time to get there so you and decide what is the best time to leave the house or office.
Keep in mind check in and boarding times and arrive at the airport 2 hours before the flight departs. Travellers often take too much time trying to go through security clearances at the airport. Arrive early enough to avoid being delayed trying to pass through the security clearances successfully.

Finally, check with the airport for information regarding the parking options and fees. Trying to find parking at any airport can be a very frustrating experience. Trying to find parking at the airport can be a very costly undertaking. This is why many travellers prefer using chauffeured modes of transport. To avoid delays while checking in, avoid carrying sharp objects, scissors and files. Wear shoes, watches, and belts that are easy to remove, and checking in would be over within no time at all. Finally and most importantly, always keep your passport on you.

Why use a chauffeur?

Here are some of the best reasons why you should use a chauffeur

You can eat, drink and relax without having to worry about a thing. Leave your car keys at some and unwind after a long week. Eliminate the hassle of parking and worrying about how to get home if you want to drink.

Chauffeurs are great for private parties

Be the ultimate host and book a chauffeur for your special guests to get them to and from the party. You can know they are getting home safe.

Airport transfers or train stations

If you are going on a trip you can save the cost of long term parking and not having to worry about using public transport.

Office parties and work functions

Book chauffeurs with Sky Vans to transport your colleagues home, allowing everyone to leave their car home.

Chauffeured corporate events

Boost customer loyalty by using high end chauffeured vehicles. Your clients will surely appreciate being able to relax and enjoy corporate hospitality.

Business Lunches

Make a statement, bring your client to lunch an a premier vehicle and seal the deal.

Look professional

Chauffeur driven cars are usually the best on the market so therefore you are sure to give off the right impressions and earn some status!

Chauffeurs can actually cost you cheaper than a taxi

Not many people know this, but a chauffeur can actually cost you a lot cheaper than using a return taxi. Plus you will avoid parking costs which can be double the price.

reasons-to-chauffeur

infographic sourced from visual.ly

How to choose the best chauffeur

Bob, is looking to a reliable chauffeur company for a range of services for airport transfers, sight seeing tours and just transportation. Bob needs these services for both personal and business reasons. This article will help Bob, and all of you who are reading, how to choose the best company for chauffeured services.

best-chauffeur-skyvans

The decision the client makes on which company or chauffeur to hire must be based on his needs. Bob, A person who travels for business reasons has different needs than one who is on a vacation. Therefore, the business traveller has to learn to use a different set of criteria when in need of chauffeur-driven cars. Some of the factors he should consider include the following:

The range and types of vehicles the company has.

A company with a wide range and types of vehicles shall always be able to provide the business travellers with the best services. It is worth reiterating that the business traveller has unique needs. A company that lacks a wide selection of vehicles from which to choose would not be capable of meeting the business traveller’s unique needs. The business traveller might need a luxury car while travelling to a particular location. Later, he might discover that the luxury car is unable to offer him the services he needs while travelling to a different location. The traveller has to consider the fact that he might need a luxury car, van or a bus.

The adaptability of the cars, the company and the drivers

A business traveller is accustomed to last minute changes. Other situations could arise that force him to adapt accordingly. Some of the changes are absolutely out of his control. This means that the traveller has to consider hiring a chauffeur from a company that is able to accommodate such sudden changes. The traveller ought to realize that the meeting he wishes to attend might run a bit late. The location or venue of the meeting might also change at the last minute. An incident might crop up forcing him to make changes accordingly. He needs to be certain that the chauffeur or car rental company is flexible to accommodate the changes.

Look for a company or chauffeur with a very strong reputation.

The reputation of the rental company or chauffeur is a very important factor. The business traveller has to hire only the company or chauffeur whose reputation is very strong and free of scandals and other numerous controversies. A business executive would rarely transact with a business associate who is not highly recommended. Similarly, the executive should be able to realize that a chauffeur or rental firm that does not boast of a strong reputation would be a very bad choice. The car company’s goal should be to treat the executive with decorum, and provide excellent services. The executive should not hire a firm with poor safety records.

The chauffeur company must provide a wide range of services.

The best chauffeur or car rental firm is one that understands the importance of having a presence in several cities. This is the only way in which the business traveller shall receive guarantees regarding being able to receive the services he needs in any destination of his choosing. The traveller needs companies that offer him executive transportation to his destination of choice. He cannot benefit by travelling in the car driven by a chauffeur who provides limited services. The business traveller needs chauffeurs and rental firms that have a clear understanding of the importance of extending their services across a wider area.

The most knowledgeable drivers.

A business traveller shall always have a very enjoyable time when in a car driven by a very knowledgeable chauffeur. The chauffeur needs to know much more than simply driving his clients from one point to the next. While doing his work, the chauffeur should be able to offer the services as hassle-free and efficiently as possible. A knowledgeable chauffeur shall avoid the very busy routes and roads where the traveller is likely to be held up in a traffic jam for hours on end, thus being late for the most important business meetings. The driver also needs to be knowledgeable regarding the top local tourist destinations.

Lastly, finding a company or chauffeur with all these qualities guarantees the business traveller a more than wonderful experience. The traveller shall have the most successful and enjoyable chauffeured services ever. When he notices such qualities in the car company or chauffeur he desires to hire, he should proceed and pay for their services. This is because he stands to be the beneficiary of reliable transportation befitting a top business executive. As a recap, he should watch out for knowledgeable drivers, a wide range of services and cars, strong reputation, and adaptability of the rental firm, drivers, and the actual cars.

Although the business traveller might have unique needs that are much different from the other travellers who need chauffeured services, the criteria used in selecting the best car rental firm or chauffeur is more or less similar.

The Future of Public Transport

With fossil fuels running out, there is more talk of eco-friendly forms of transport. We have found this great infographic by EU Infrastructure on visual.ly

Click the image below to expand

public-transport-future

Driveless Pods

A four seater vehicle that runs along a guide way. There will be no timetable, so it is more likely to run like a taxi service than a bus service, with the advantage of bypassing current traffic congestion at speeds of up to 32km.
Example: Heathrow Airport, Londan
Positives:Uses a quarter of energy per passenger per 1.6km of a car.

Sky Tran

Computer controlled, personal sized vehicles that ride on guide ways built above ground. They will run like a non stop freeway with designated exits and entrances into Sky Tran stations.
Speed: 160km in cities
Negatives: It will cost apporx $10million per 1.6km of track

Electric Bicycles

In an attempt to solve the problem of increasingly congested streets, the electric bike combines the convenience and simplicity of riding a bike with electric power thereby increasing the speed and ease at which you can travel.
Example: YikeBike

MagLev Trains

Using magnetic levitation, these trains are propelled forward at higher speeds than wheeled mass transit systems, with the potential to reach speeds of 6400km! Not only being much faster than the conventional trains, they will emit less C02 and be much quiter.
Example: Transrapid, Shanghai, China
Negatives: Incompatible with existing tracks

SlideWalks

Similar to airport travelators, slidewalks will replace a high percantage of conventional pavements in major cities to allow passengers to travel at higher speeds than walking whilst reducing pedestrian congestion.
Example: Trottoir Roulant Rapide, Paris. Speed at 9km
Negatives: Expensive to implement

Segway

A 2 wheeled mode of transport running from electricity which allows you to travel at speeds of up to 20km along a pavement.
Negatives: It’s not classed as a bike and usually not allowed on roads

Backpack Helicopter

A backpack helicopter consists of strapping a helicopter motor and rotor to a persons back. It has been suggested it will function better than a jet pack which has not had many successful flights.
Negatives: A lot of testing and training will be required for use.

Zeppelins

Making a comeback after 70 years from the Hindenburg disaster. Environmentalists are favouring this alternative to aeroplaces due to their low usage of fuel and the low altitudes of which it can fly.
Example: Zeppelin NT, Germany
Positives: Do not need a runway to take off.

Melbourne’s new train line from city to airport

Taken from The Age, shows the states budget for the new railway project
melbourne-train-line

The rail system in Australia has gone through many changes ever since the first steam railway traveled from Melbourne to Port Melbourne. Initially, private companies operated the first railway lines in Australia. However, as the situation grew worse for private companies, the smaller governments around the country took over the construction and management of the railway lines. By 1901, all the states in Australia were connected with a railway line, with the exception of Western Australia. Around 1917, anybody who wanted to travel between Perth and Brisbane had to change trains six or more times.

Australians had to wait until 1995 before they could use the standard gauge railway when traveling from Brisbane to Perth, via Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney. Fast forward to the present day, and the government, through Prime Minister Mike Baird, announced that it expects to build a new railway line – The North West Rail Link, or NWRL. The line will be the first ever, fully-computerized express transit rail link in Australia. With this new line, trains now have the chance of running four times in an hour, especially during the peak periods. The most important feature is that the rail link allows for remotely operated trains.

Largest Ever Partnership between the Public and Private Sectors

NWRL is the largest ever partnership between the state and the private sector. The contract is the biggest ever to have been awarded in the NSW region. During the off peaks, the train would be departing the stating after every ten minutes. The same shall apply during the weekends and at night. This means that during the peak hours, 15 trains will be departing the station and transporting commuters in an hour. During off peak hours, weekends, and at night, only six trains will depart and transport commuters to their preferred destinations. This rule applies for trains that will be leaving Rouse Hill for Chatswood.

$8.3 billion Budget Set Aside for NWRL

To construct the rail link, the public and private sector have had to raise more than $8.3 billion. The first stage of the construction has already commenced where eth government announced that it has set aside $3.7 billion to kick-start the construction. The government hopes that the construction will be complete in good time for commuters to board the first train on this new link in 2019. Prior to this, the government had said that it expects to see 12 trains transporting travelers along this new line per hour. The government has adjusted this to 15 trains per hour.

Population in the Melbourne’s North West region is expected to grow exponentially in the next decade. The government hopes that when this happens, it will be able to add more trains to serve the bigger population. Currently, the trains shall carry around 1,000 passengers at a time. Out of the 1,000 passengers, 400 will sit and 600 shall stand. The government has announced plans to construct eight new stations. Five of the stations that already exist will undergo upgrading. Moreover, the government will provide 4,000 commuters with parking spaces.

The project will deliver:

  • twin tunnels from Southern Cross to South Yarra as part of a new Frankston to Lilydale/Belgrave line
  • new underground stations at Fishermans Bend (Montague) and Domain
  • new underground platforms at Southern Cross and South Yarra stations
  • the Melbourne Airport Rail Link, connecting Melbourne Airport to Southern Cross Station and the Cranbourne-Pakenham corridor
  • train-tram interchanges at the new underground stations
  • supporting works across the rail network to improve train reliability and passenger interchange facilities
  • a package of tram and bus improvements to the Parkville precinct.

for more information please see http://ptv.vic.gov.au/melbourne-rail-link/

Composition of the Private Consortium that won the Contract

The Northwest Rapid Transit is the name of the private consortium that won the contract. The consortium comprises MTR Corporation of Hong Kong, Leighton Contractors, John Holland, and Plenary Group. Alstom, one of the world-renowned train suppliers, will be in charge of constructing the new trains to be used along this new line. Alstom has already made similar trains for Hong Kong, Amsterdam, Singapore and Milan. The government, through its Transport Minister, Gladys Berejiklian, said that this development is in response to what commuters need.

Commuters in Melbourne have always believed on the importance of having frequent rail or train services. The government says that commuters will not require a timetable with the new NWRL. Commuters will only have to turn up at the station, wait for their train, and go. This will not take more than 10 minutes during the off peak hours, on weekends, and at night. However, during the peak hours, commuters will not spend more than 4 minutes at the station before boarding the train and departing to their preferred destination.

Initially, six carriage trains will be in use. However, if need be, carriages and trains shall be added to serve the large demand by commuters. During construction, the platforms will be built in such a way that they have adequate room for eight-carriage trains. The trains will be fitted with enough seats. The trains will also boast of several multipurpose areas where commuters can leave their prams and luggage. Each station will have a team of highly trained customer service assistants manning it. The assistants will move along the network round the clock, day and night.

Finally, some critics believe that double deck trains would be ideal for this project. Supporters of the project believe that single deck carriages are the best since they take less time to load. More importantly, the heavier double deck carriages will need more time to brake and speed, which would defeat the purpose for the project.