Monthlies too much

A recent survey reveals Melbourne commuters could be paying too much for their monthly tickets

Monthlies too much
Monthlies too much

March 23, 2011

Melbourne’s monthly tickets are markedly more expensive than those in other cities, a recent survey by the Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) has found.

The study, comparing periodical public transport tickets around the world, found that Melbourne’s monthly tickets were not priced to encourage frequent public transport usage.

"A monthly ticket in Melbourne costs around the price of 20 daily fares", PTUA President Daniel Bowen says.

"In comparison many cities price their monthly tickets at around twelve daily tickets, encouraging users to get the monthly fare even if they are only working three days a week."

Bowen says in cities noted for advances in public transport, such as Zurich, Paris and Amsterdam, a monthly ticket can be less than the cost of ten daily fares.

"Periodical tickets like monthlies are good for commuters, the system and the environment alike — they encourage commitment to public transport, and cut transaction times and costs," he says.

Bowen says bringing monthly ticket prices down to world standards could also provide a way out of the government’s Myki mess.

"Two of Myki’s biggest problems are queues to touch-off, and incorrect charging with Myki money," he says.

"By discounting and promoting monthly Myki Passes, both of these problems are reduced, because Myki Pass doesn’t require touching-off, and pay-as-you-go charging doesn’t need to be calculated because the fare is paid up-front."

Bowen says this could be a win-win-win situation with a discount to regular public transport users, encouraging more usage on weekends and outside peak hour, and helping Myki run more smoothly.

"But even if Myki is not retained, the government should look at further discounting periodical tickets to encourage passengers to get on board more regularly."

He says this would cut ticketing costs, reduce queues at machines and booking offices, and speed up bus services.

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