On Monday 4 August I observed the activity at Macleod station waiting area while the 6.50am, 7.02am and 7.12am citybound trains came and went.
Approximately 50 commuters arrived, waited and caught each train. The only other person using this space at this time is running the small kiosk.
The physical space has been described more thoroughly in Designed for a purpose. As a reference I’ve included my sketch from that post.
I also used a very brief window of opportunity, when the area was empty as a train arrived, to capture this panorama.
This is what I observed:
- People enter and walk through to the platform to check when the next train will arrive and swipe their Myki card. They then either continue down the platform or return to the waiting area. People coming back in sometimes create congestion at the doorway.
- The waiting area is warmer than outside (an unusually cold -2C on this day)
- Every time the doors open (entrance or exit to platform) cold air rushes in.
- There is very little attention paid to the information posters that are on most walls and display boards although two people look at a poster advertising trains being replaced by buses next weekend.
- As more people arrive the seats start to fill but there are lots of gaps, no one sits immediately adjacent to anyone else unless they arrived together (presumably have a pre-existing relationship).
- Very few people speak unless they arrived together (see above); are apologising to people queuing behind for taking a long time to top-up their Myki; or are making a purchase at the kiosk. Occasional comments about how cold it is are heard.
- No one is speaking on a phone but many people are using their phones for other purposes.
- I hear heels clicking, Myki machine beeps, the vending machine fridge motor, doors opening and closing, wheels of rolling cases, espresso machine, station announcements.
- I feel warmer being inside but the hard plastic seats are cold. The whole environment is an emotionally cold place.
- The kiosk is not very busy but does provide a pleasant smell of coffee. The people who do purchase coffee or other items seem to be regulars as they greet, are greeted by and chat with the man serving . One is even asked about his weekend. He only makes 3 coffees while I am observing.
- The waiting area empties as station announcements (usually pre-recorded but once from a real person broadcasting from within the customer service area) indicate the approach of the next train. Each time one or two people who have gotten off the train exit through the waiting area. The next wave of people start arriving.
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