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Media Release

17/10/2002

Show us the research!

Bracks Government neither open nor accountable, say users

The Public Transport Users Association today filed a request under Freedom of Information to obtain the government's secret market research on public transport ticketing, which the government has refused to release, despite claiming to be transparent and open.

PTUA Secretary Vaughan Williams criticised the 'open and accountable' Bracks government for failing to release the results of its own market research on public transport ticketing.

"Given the fiasco of the current system, it is important that passengers get a workable alternative, and not Metcard Mark 2, or something even worse and more over-reliant on technology," said Mr Williams.

"We have already had an extensive, consultative examination of the best ticketing system for Melbourne in the form of the 1991 Met Ticketing Taskforce. Market research at the time showed that most members of the travelling public supported it. Unfortunately, the public transport bureaucracy refused to accept the umpire's verdict and we got the dysfunctional Metcard system instead."

Mr Williams added that the governments secretive Ticketing Taskforce, which includes no consumer representation, appeared to be duplicating the work that had already been done and disregarding the wishes of passengers.

"The taskforce is made up entirely of our public transport bureaucracy and the private operators. It doesn't know (and probably doesn't care) what passengers want because it looks at things from the wrong perspective. Lets not forget that these are the same people who gave us the disastrous Metcard system and before that the Met Ticket fiasco."

"The taskforce has commissioned focus groups using taxpayers money. The results of those focus groups are an important fact that can contribute to this debate - so why is the government keeping them a secret?"

"The PTUA will now pursue this research under FOI in the interests of a more informed debate. We hope the government will put a stop to these secretive processes and get on with implementing a working system. The 200 publicly funded staff that the operators aren't using for their intended purpose would be a good place to start," concluded Mr Williams

Contacts:
PTUA Office 9650 7898


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Last Modified: 17 October 2002