On the lorry

As I have already explained once, Switzerland got a great public transportation system. Not only in the towns, but also between the big towns and in the countryside. There are trains connecting every little village, climbing up the mountains or tunneling them; no matter what obstacle there might be, Swiss trains always find a way to evade them. However, although – or because? – we have such a great public transportation system, it constantly needs to be improved and extended. In  1987 the government launched a project called Rail(Train?) 2000. Now, ten years after the millenium, a new huge project is being discussed: “Rail 2030”. The costs will be approximately between ten and twentyone billion Swiss Francs. Some think this is too much, other say you cannot spend enough to improve public transportation.

My contribution to this discussion: A picture of the public transportation in the north of Sambia. A lorry is the only connection between Nakonde and Mpulungu two rather small Sambian towns. 50 men sitting on a hill of empty coke bottles, for hours densely packed like a herd of sheep warming each other as they are feeling the bodies of the others pressed against their own. It is a cheap way to travel. And an uncomfortable one. The lorry goes once a day. They would not need 20 billion francs to improve their public transportation system.

(Copyright by Michael Schilliger, 2009)


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