Lately the issue of transport in Perth has been dealt with repeatedly in the local media. Clearly, the relentless rise in the city's population has put considerable pressure on our roads, highways and public transport system.

It's something that I've been acutely aware of lately -- probably more so than many other residents -- because I don't have a car and get around solely using public transport. Also, having lived in Sydney for about eight years in two stints over the last fifteen, the changes seem more pronounced than if I'd just lived here the whole time.

That said, I do think this is a teething problem more than anything else. As this article makes clear the congestion is only really bad at peak times. I'm sure we'll find ways to spread the activity out and reduce the problem considerably.  

We still do have heaps of space compared to other cities and the city has been generally well planned. Sydney, for example, is a nightmare for traffic, and always was because it grew so chaotically over a smaller and more rugged area. 

The public transport system is a window into the changing nature of Perth in ways other than its sheer crowdedness. The fraying of our social cohesion can also be seen vividly on trains and buses.

For example, I sometimes go out Armadale way on the train. Some of the behaviour you see on there, it's not pretty. There is much public drunkenness and many young people are clearly under the influence of drugs.

It's so sad, they look so angry and unhealthy and they're not even twenty. Clearly many will be lucky to reach middle age, let alone old age. Travelling on that line makes it very clear just how many people are living awful, dead end lives. 

Drug and alcohol abuse aside, there's pervasive disrespect for authority, with attacks on transit guards being a frequent occurrence

It all brings it home to you that Perth is now a really big city, even by international standards. With so many people living here, it's inevitable that there are some truly horrific things happening. 

You've got kids running round with tomahawks, invading homes. There are people getting immolated and severed heads in plastic bags washing up on island beaches. There's also a huge meth problem and bikies galore ... 

The days of Perth being like a "big country town" are certainly long gone now.