The Public Transport Users Association today launched an on-line petition calling on the State Government to make single-use tickets available for occasional users and tourists, and stop compulsory Myki purchase becoming a barrier to public transport use.
The on-line petition, at www.mykisingles.com, calls for single-use 2-hour and daily tickets to be made available throughout Victoria at stations and on trams and buses, and for Myki top-ups to be allowed on trams.
PTUA President Tony Morton said that the petition was being launched as the full consequences of the State Government’s “mad” decision to scrap short-term tickets in Melbourne on December 29 were beginning to hit home amongst Victorians.
“As the warning signs go up, people are realising that they will be forced to buy a Myki smartcard before they can use trains, trams or buses in Melbourne, followed soon by the rest of Victoria.”
“Victoria will become probably the only place in the world that does not provide single-use tickets for occasional users and tourists. It’s a new ticketing disaster in the making.”
Dr Morton said the ticketing system would raise a new barrier to public transport use and cause skyrocketing rates of fare evasion. “From December 29, no tickets will be available on trams, so if you don’t already have a Myki before you get on, you won’t be allowed to catch the tram. Even Myki holders won’t be able to top up their cards onboard.”
Most adult passengers also have to pay $6 upfront for their cards, before any fares are added on top. Myki cards for concession travellers are $3, but these concession Mykis won’t be available from vending machines, which are the only way of buying a Myki at unstaffed stations. “This means a visiting family of four could pay up to $24 for their cards before they’ve even begun to pay their fares”.
People whose Myki was blocked or failed would also be forced to buy a second Myki to cover interim travel.
Dr Morton said that if the State Government wanted to avert ticketing disaster, it could follow the lead of Smartcard systems in Perth or Brisbane, which were cheaper to install than Myki, but still provide simple, machine-printed paper tickets for occasional users.
Single-use tickets could be printed as paper receipts by existing Myki machines at railway stations and on buses, but would require the reintroduction of tram conductors or the revival of scrapped plans for tram ticket machines.
“This won’t be without cost, but passengers shouldn’t have to pay for Myki’s failures through years of ongoing cost and inconvenience. In any case, it is impossible to verify the purported savings from scrapping the original plans for single-use tickets, not least because Premier Baillieu has refused to release the Deloitte report on Myki”, Dr Morton said.
“This issue will continue to haunt the Baillieu Government if it doesn’t take heed of the message coming loud and clear from petition signatories. Passengers need an alternative to compulsory Myki ownership”, Dr Morton concluded.