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Online ANZAC bus bookings, rise of internet an issue for the computerless

By Greg Cornwell - 19 April 2016 16

Computer transactions

I’m trying to understand the proposal people should register online in order to travel by ACTION bus to this year’s ANZAC Day ceremonies.

While numbers attending the services continue to grow, last year as the anniversary of Gallipoli might have been a high water mark not to be repeated. Of course this should not be an argument to abandon the idea, however other issues are challenging.

Granted this free service has worked well to sporting fixtures but whether or not we need this level of detail for ANZAC Day is questionable.

We are told the booking line will be open until April 24 and up to ten people can be registered with no doubt those numbers individually fluctuating among Canberra’s fickle public. The registration covering both standing and sitting positions is bizarre, an over-the-top cautionary qualification so passengers don’t sue if they don’t get a seat. The limited Sunday timetable also is worrying if this proves too popular.

The excellent service already operating from the Russell Offices carpark is mentioned and as a user I hope it will not be too complicated. What interstate visitors and those who do not register will do remains a mystery – probably add to the parking chaos at the War Memorial, I guess.

Which brings me to the increased use of internet business.

For some time now commercial online traffic has been rising and doubtless received a major boost when postage rose to a dollar for a standard letter.

Purchases, payments, invoices and now bus bookings like the above – will this become the future with public transport? – join air, sea and land travel, notices of meetings and announcements.

Bad luck for the poor, the elderly and indeed anyone who doesn’t have or cannot use a computer.

Certainly there is direct debit, cheques and tottering to the post office to pay bills but such alternatives still are out of range or the capacity of some people.

Even Bpay presents a challenge to elderly fingers and poor eyesight punching in the correct numbers listening to the instructions with failing hearing and many people are uncomfortable asking others to look after their business affairs.

It’s tiresome too having to separate a small group of members who need a written meeting notice or announcement sent in a stamped addressed envelope when everyone else is serviced by an online broadcast.

Along with decreasing use of telephone landlines these computerless people will be isolated gradually, then forgotten unless our caring society can come up with a solution to aid their increasing disadvantage.

What’s Your opinion?


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16 Responses to
Online ANZAC bus bookings, rise of internet an issue for the computerless
HenryBG 12:21 pm 20 Apr 16

Charlotte Harper said :

I don’t know about the elderly being without computers connected to the internet. In 2005 my grandfather had a computer and his retirement village all had it.
In Canberra all the senior citizens centres run free IT courses and many retirees have been using computers for a good chunk of their working lives and raised children with computers.

Australia and Canberra in particular has a high penetration of computers, tablets and smart phones. People will generally have at least one and if they don’t they find ways around it.

All the elderly in my family have smartphones, some have tablets, some have laptops, and all of them have access to their local public library in case they would rather live the life of a luddite.

As for poor people – a poor member of my extended family was moaning about how his daughter needed a computer to do her homework and he didn’t have $1000 to buy one. I went online to the auction site, bought an ex-gov PC for about $30, a 19inch flatscreen for another $25, then pilfered a keyboard and mouse from somewhere.
I guess I could have hit him up for $55, but basically he’s poor and he got a working computer for free.

Maya123 11:44 am 20 Apr 16

Kali said :

rommeldog56 said :

gazket said :

Not all elderly people *want* to learn to use the internet. My mother, for example (she’s in her mid-80s). .

My folks are the same, never used a computer in their lives, no desire to learn now and they haven’t needed to. They stopped working nearly 30 years ago, so haven’t been exposed to them at all. With my mothers rheumatoid arthritis, I don’t know that even a tablet would be feasible for her to use.

My parents had never used a computer in their lives either until into their eighties and nineties. They didn’t have too much trouble learning the basics. My mother had never used a computer, and I don’t think considered to use one, until a couple of years ago when she was given a tablet as a present. I wondered how she would manage to learn to use it, as she had no experience of such things, but she picked up quickly how to use it, and now loves it. My father has very bad vision, but that hasn’t stopped him using the computer with the screen magnified and an extra magnifier if necessary. Although, because of his visual problems, there are some things he can’t read.

rubaiyat 11:36 am 20 Apr 16

rosscoact said :

2620watcher said :

rubaiyat said :

dungfungus said :

It is a public holiday. What will you be doing?

ACTION is just trying to assess demand. Last year was a big year and there is no real way of determining demand, even with the online registration, people have a way of not showing up, just ask restaurants.

Let’s hope that the eternally selfish don’t roll up in their cars, again, and park all over the vegetation, again, “because…”

But they will!

Every year, I travel down Parkes Way to ADFA to attend the dawn service held there. The amount of cars parked anywhere they can near the War Memorial is staggering, but they will ‘because’ of what ever reason they justify it with.

A car parked on the edge of a corner, what does it matter, its 4am, its ANZAC day, I need to park and bugger safety or courtesy.

However, lets be realistic, parking in Canberra is always what is ever best for some motorists. Go to any major shopping precinct on any weekend and just look around at the way some people will park to suits them.

For me the walk to the Dawn Service in the pre dawn gloom is part of the experience.

Driving around and around looking for an unsurprisingly non-existent parking spot would be a “Just another day” spoiler.

You could always wait for a tram…

Ah another vote to build it out to Russell. Commonsense is finally starting to show.

Raging Tempest 9:37 am 20 Apr 16

rommeldog56 said :

gazket said :

Not all elderly people *want* to learn to use the internet. My mother, for example (she’s in her mid-80s). .

My folks are the same, never used a computer in their lives, no desire to learn now and they haven’t needed to. They stopped working nearly 30 years ago, so haven’t been exposed to them at all. With my mothers rheumatoid arthritis, I don’t know that even a tablet would be feasible for her to use.

Nightshade 11:08 pm 19 Apr 16

gazket said :

Public libraries have computers available. My father is in his nineties and taught himself to use a computer in his eighties. He has very poor vision, so his computer has been modified, but he still uses it. My mother, in her eighties was recently given a tablet and had no problems using it. Both use the internet everyday. Too often it is presumed that elderly people don’t have the ability to use a computer. Not being able to afford a computer might be a problem, but as I mentioned, public libraries have them available. Hopefully after a little bit of instruction the user will quickly get the idea.

Not all elderly people *want* to learn to use the internet. My mother, for example (she’s in her mid-80s). There’s no reason she couldn’t learn if she wanted to, she could certainly afford a computer, and she has sent the occasional email from our accounts (so knows how convenient email is), but she just isn’t interested in getting an internet connection or learning to use a computer. It’s true that if she really needed to do something online (like book one of these bus tickets) one of us would sort it out for her, and if she didn’t have us to do it she might have to bite the bullet and learn herself – but I agree with the OP that it shouldn’t be assumed that everyone is online.

OpenYourMind 10:33 pm 19 Apr 16

2620watcher said :

rubaiyat said :

dungfungus said :

It is a public holiday. What will you be doing?

ACTION is just trying to assess demand. Last year was a big year and there is no real way of determining demand, even with the online registration, people have a way of not showing up, just ask restaurants.

Let’s hope that the eternally selfish don’t roll up in their cars, again, and park all over the vegetation, again, “because…”

But they will!

Every year, I travel down Parkes Way to ADFA to attend the dawn service held there. The amount of cars parked anywhere they can near the War Memorial is staggering, but they will ‘because’ of what ever reason they justify it with.

A car parked on the edge of a corner, what does it matter, its 4am, its ANZAC day, I need to park and bugger safety or courtesy.

However, lets be realistic, parking in Canberra is always what is ever best for some motorists. Go to any major shopping precinct on any weekend and just look around at the way some people will park to suits them.

For me the walk to the Dawn Service in the pre dawn gloom is part of the experience.

Driving around and around looking for an unsurprisingly non-existent parking spot would be a “Just another day” spoiler.

You could always wait for a tram…

Kalliste 9:34 pm 19 Apr 16

Charlotte Harper said :

I don’t know about the elderly being without computers connected to the internet. In 2005 my grandfather had a computer and his retirement village all had it.
In Canberra all the senior citizens centres run free IT courses and many retirees have been using computers for a good chunk of their working lives and raised children with computers.

Australia and Canberra in particular has a high penetration of computers, tablets and smart phones. People will generally have at least one and if they don’t they find ways around it.

The first time I ever used the internet (when it wasn’t the internet as we know it today, this was back in the 90’s) it was at my grandparents house. They were the first people I knew who had the internet connected and my Nanna went on to do a course in how to type and email writing. It people are willing they can easily learn.

rubaiyat 5:08 pm 19 Apr 16

rubaiyat said :

dungfungus said :

It is a public holiday. What will you be doing?

ACTION is just trying to assess demand. Last year was a big year and there is no real way of determining demand, even with the online registration, people have a way of not showing up, just ask restaurants.

Let’s hope that the eternally selfish don’t roll up in their cars, again, and park all over the vegetation, again, “because…”

But they will!

Every year, I travel down Parkes Way to ADFA to attend the dawn service held there. The amount of cars parked anywhere they can near the War Memorial is staggering, but they will ‘because’ of what ever reason they justify it with.

A car parked on the edge of a corner, what does it matter, its 4am, its ANZAC day, I need to park and bugger safety or courtesy.

However, lets be realistic, parking in Canberra is always what is ever best for some motorists. Go to any major shopping precinct on any weekend and just look around at the way some people will park to suits them.

For me the walk to the Dawn Service in the pre dawn gloom is part of the experience.

Driving around and around looking for an unsurprisingly non-existent parking spot would be a “Just another day” spoiler.

Rollersk8r 3:41 pm 19 Apr 16

Really not sure what your points are? I don’t know the background but surely ACTION is just trying to assess the correct number of buses to supply?

Maya123 3:00 pm 19 Apr 16

Greg Cornwell wrote, “Bad luck for the poor, the elderly and indeed anyone who doesn’t have or cannot use a computer.”
Public libraries have computers available. My father is in his nineties and taught himself to use a computer in his eighties. He has very poor vision, so his computer has been modified, but he still uses it. My mother, in her eighties was recently given a tablet and had no problems using it. Both use the internet everyday. Too often it is presumed that elderly people don’t have the ability to use a computer. Not being able to afford a computer might be a problem, but as I mentioned, public libraries have them available. Hopefully after a little bit of instruction the user will quickly get the idea. The first time I ever sat at a computer (I was COMPLETELY ignorant until then of their use), I was doing efficient data entry for someone minutes after being shown how. Basic computer use is not difficult, even for those with limited (or no) use of them.

pink little birdie 2:54 pm 19 Apr 16

I don’t know about the elderly being without computers connected to the internet. In 2005 my grandfather had a computer and his retirement village all had it.
In Canberra all the senior citizens centres run free IT courses and many retirees have been using computers for a good chunk of their working lives and raised children with computers.

Australia and Canberra in particular has a high penetration of computers, tablets and smart phones. People will generally have at least one and if they don’t they find ways around it.

dlenihan 2:13 pm 19 Apr 16

dungfungus said :

It is a public holiday. What will you be doing?

ACTION is just trying to assess demand. Last year was a big year and there is no real way of determining demand, even with the online registration, people have a way of not showing up, just ask restaurants.

Let’s hope that the eternally selfish don’t roll up in their cars, again, and park all over the vegetation, again, “because…”

But they will!

Every year, I travel down Parkes Way to ADFA to attend the dawn service held there. The amount of cars parked anywhere they can near the War Memorial is staggering, but they will ‘because’ of what ever reason they justify it with.

A car parked on the edge of a corner, what does it matter, its 4am, its ANZAC day, I need to park and bugger safety or courtesy.

However, lets be realistic, parking in Canberra is always what is ever best for some motorists. Go to any major shopping precinct on any weekend and just look around at the way some people will park to suits them.

justin heywood 12:09 pm 19 Apr 16

Good point. People who don’t use computers are becoming the modern illiterates.

Most agencies do offer old-fashioned contact options such as phone and post , but as anyone who has had phone a government department, a bank or phone company like Telstra can tell you, these are not good options.
I’m not Forrest Gump, but when I have to talk to a Customer Service Representative, I often have trouble making myself understood or understanding them.
It must be very difficult for those oldies who only have the phone option.

I hope ACTION keeps the old folks in mind, especially on ANZAC day.

pajs 12:06 pm 19 Apr 16

You can register by telephone via 13 17 10 and have your ticket mailed to you. That covers people unable or unwilling to use the internet.

The registration for seated or standing allows Action to plan for how many elderly or disabled attendees will need to be seated, and therefore the number of buses to assign to the different Register to Ride route start points.

Lots of useful information about the Register for Ride arrangement, and the transport options for Anzac Day, are available on https://www.action.act.gov.au/news/whatson/register-to-ride-to-the-anzac-day-dawn-service-and-national-ceremony. Might have been a useful link to have included in your story.

rubaiyat 10:17 am 19 Apr 16

It is a public holiday. What will you be doing?

ACTION is just trying to assess demand. Last year was a big year and there is no real way of determining demand, even with the online registration, people have a way of not showing up, just ask restaurants.

Let’s hope that the eternally selfish don’t roll up in their cars, again, and park all over the vegetation, again, “because…”

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