The most insulting recent attempt by the NSW Government to win votes before the March 2011 election is the Metrobus SMS trial announced earlier this week.
If you're standing at a bus stop and you're unsure when the next bus is, you can SMS the bus number to 0488 TXT BUS and the company will respond with the appropriate times.
With smartphone use on the rise in Australia, people must want something a bit better than an SMS telling them the times for a single bus on the Sydney network. Sure, we have TripView for the iPhone, but it's not like the government had anything to do with that.
My favourite transport-related app is TramTracker, for Melbourne's tram network. Not only does this provide an up-to-date timetable, but thanks to GPS installed in each tram, the application can tell you exactly where the tram you want to catch is on the network.
That's not to mention that when you do get on the tram, if you have a myki card, it's a simple swipe of that card to pay your fare.
Sure myki was not without its teething problems, but compared to the on-going troubles with NSW's ill-fated Tcard system, it looks like a utopian implementation of smart card technology.
An SMS notification system smacks of a government trying to look as though it is doing something — anything — for transport in New South Wales before it is, if the polls are right, thoroughly booted out of office by the voters in March 2011.