Fare rise unexpected

Passengers at a tram stop

The rise to $5 for a single trip and $10 per day for a standard Myki fare is unexpected, given these usually occur in January. The PTUA along with the rest of Victoria has only had a week’s notice of the increase, which is a big jump for most fares.

Passengers won’t be welcoming the rise, which comes during a cost of living crisis, and at a time when many rail lines around Melbourne will be replaced by buses due to works.

While a moderate rise from time to time is to be expected, a large increase of almost 9% for the standard fare will sting passengers, particularly those in the suburbs where local public transport is limited to infrequent and often unreliable buses.

We should not believe that just because inflation is at a certain number that fares necessarily have to go up by the same amount.  Fare increases need to be related to actual increases in operating costs. We have seen fares go up above the rate of inflation many times in the past, but it’s rare for fares to increase by less than inflation.

V/Line fares recently saw a huge discount, up to 90% in some cases, when they aligned with metro fares, and these still represent good value for money. But there is a sense that the government is giving with one hand and taking away with the other.

For metropolitan zone 1 journeys there have been no discounts, not even for short trips. The price has crept up over the years, and the new higher fare of $5 each way ($10 per day) is pretty steep for people taking short journeys.