Third places in transit: Public transport as a third place of mobility

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This chapter considers whether the public transport commute, historically a linear experience between the workplace and home, can be a third place rather than a soulless shuttle to be bracketed with ‘work’ as the opposite to ‘home’. In the context of this book, this topic is important because work is frequently separated from home. Suburban dwellers therefore spend considerable time moving between the two, with many travelling by public transport such as trains, trams, buses and ferries. As we shall see, the separation between home, transit and work is not as simple as it was once conceived to be, and this makes third places of mobility both interesting and complex. This exploration of public transport as a third place draws mainly on a literature review that is shaped and informed by knowledge and experience of public transport in cities in Australia and around the world that I have either lived in, visited, heard of or read about. It is not based on original research; instead it is hoped that it will inspire others to pursue research and implementation of more humane public transport systems that will enrich the lives of the communities and individual commuters using public transport to experience their first, second and third places.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRethinking Third Places
Subtitle of host publicationInformal Public Spaces and Community Building
EditorsJoanne Dolley, Caryl Bosman
Place of PublicationCheltenham
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9781786433916
ISBN (Print)9781786433909
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2019


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