Fares and fare structures

 
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
That does not mean we cannot change our ways.
railblogger


Ahh...to be so naive as to not understand politics....

Sponsored advertisement

  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
If I'm not mistaken, politics is the main reason why our system is a shambles.

But that's a topic for another thread...
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
If I'm not mistaken, politics is the main reason why our system is a shambles.

But that's a topic for another thread...
railblogger


There is no 'shambles'.

The non-existent shambles have been created solely in this thread. Economic rationalists like ZH would have us believe that the system is on the verge of economic meltdown...it's not, however it's an interesting discussion nevertheless....but that's all it is..a discussion.

Happy New Year to all.

Mike.
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
By shambles I was referring to how politicians run the system down until it breaks...IMO this is not a good thing.

Also, I think people such as ZH are referring to government budgets rather than the PT system.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Can anyone tell me if there's a need to touch off at railway stations and on buses any longer... I know that you can only be charged a maximum Zone One Daily now so if you are exclusively travelling in Zone One is there any need to touch off?
  melbtrip Chief Commissioner

Location: Annoying Orange
Can anyone tell me if there's a need to touch off at railway stations and on buses any longer... I know that you can only be charged a maximum Zone One Daily now so if you are exclusively travelling in Zone One is there any need to touch off?
.

It's my understanding to get a zone 1 fare, a person has to touch on and touch off in a zone 1 area.
metro trains - the default fare - is a zone 1 and 2 (if a person travels from any metro station and does not touch off and then default fare is zone 1 & 2.)

There is no need to touch off to be charged a fare same as zone 1 fare, but MYKI ticketing system should charge you a zone 1 and 2 fare and which incase is currently being set at the same level as a zone 1 fare.

Note - zone 1 fares  prices are same as zone 1 and 2 fares prices.
  trainbrain Deputy Commissioner

I am not complaining travelling from where I live, outer Zone 2 into the city, (zone 1) over $5.00 has been cut from my full paying Adult Fare..............so what is the problem?
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
Can anyone tell me if there's a need to touch off at railway stations and on buses any longer... I know that you can only be charged a maximum Zone One Daily now so if you are exclusively travelling in Zone One is there any need to touch off?
don_dunstan
I think you have to touch off when travelling within Zone 2 only.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
I think you have to touch off when travelling within Zone 2 only.
railblogger
Thanks for that answer - I suspected as much. It will save people from having to queue up and touch off, at least that stupid aspect of the myki system has now been eliminated with the Zone 1 & 2 cap.

I am not complaining travelling from where I live, outer Zone 2 into the city, (zone 1) over $5.00 has been cut from my full paying Adult Fare..............so what is the problem?
trainbrain
The new fare structure will cost the government a fortune in lost revenue and it kind of makes a mockery of the decision to go with a sophisticated, complicated whizz-bang electronic ticketing system.  In retrospect, it would have been much easier (and cheaper) if they had decided in 2003 to go with $1 concession fare or $2 full fare turnstiles at stations, buses and 'honesty boxes' on trams.

It's also kind of unfair that someone travelling five tram stops has to pay the exact same fare that someone travelling from Werribee or Pakenham does - I don't think it's a good use of taxpayer money subsidise those extremely long commuter trips across Melbourne. It will be very popular, especially with people in the outer suburbs - but it doesn't mean it's a good policy.
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
A rather interesting myki glitch has appeared as a result of the fare changes: http://www.danielbowen.com/2015/01/05/myki-glitch-152/
  Gwiwer Rt Hon Gentleman and Ghost of Oliver Bulleid

Location: Loitering in darkest Somewhere
I am all in favour of a user-pays system but it must be supported by a viable and user-friendly revenue collection system.

Every change we see being made is an admission of the failings of Myki and / or of the way the Government tries to get it to work.

For tourists and occasional users there could and should be the opportunity to purchase a single-use ticket without having to understand any of the vagaries of Myki.  For most others a multi-modal system offers potential benefits over having to pay separately for each mode but it simply doesn't work in the vast complexities of a State-wide scenario.  It is too slow and cumbersome.

Myki is slow anyway compared with other smart card systems.  In London you see people walking briskly through barrier lines without breaking stride while holding their ticket within a few centimetres of the reader.  In Melbourne everyone has to stop and pause for a few seconds with their ticket in contact with the reader.

The free tram zone is an admission that Myki does not work efficiently because it is unreasonable to tag off whilst keeping the service moving. It is also an admission that the system is incomprehensible to some and is not user-friendly.  Too many users simply hopped on a tram and off again a few stops later with little chance of being caught and only a token fine if they were.  If they did that every working day for a year and were caught twice they would have still saved a large amount.  

Visitors and those unfamiliar with the system find no information at tram stops directing them to the nearest retail outlet.  Some stops have Myki machines but these only sell full fare cards.  Many users are entitled to a concession fare.

I made use of the free tram zone today for the first time.  Some passengers were tagging on as they boarded within the City and in fairness they might have been travelling to a point beyond the zone limit.  Some were doing so on trams suggesting they were going to "St Kilda - Walk Around Works" on route 96a which were terminating at Bourke and Spencer.  With a fair hike to a connecting tram at Port Junction (and quite why no connecting bus has been laid on is a topic for another discussion) those passengers are potentially being charged twice, depending on their total travels, for their journey as they tag on again aboard the second tram.

It was also noticeable that teams of AOs boarded trams at the boundary stop and no doubt checked tickets as soon as the free zone had been left.  Rich pickings perhaps.

I like the concept of a free city centre travel zone as it says "We encourage public transport use here"  but the negativity surrounding Myki is only compounding.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
I like the concept of a free city centre travel zone as it says "We encourage public transport use here"  but the negativity surrounding Myki is only compounding.
Gwiwer
Myki works really well if you are regular user but for outsiders it's extremely confusing and difficult to understand - I've been using it for years and I still struggle with some of the intricacies and quirks. The $6 sunk cost is also a significant tourist and occasional-user deterrent. As discussed earlier (and I think you agree with me, Gwiwer) there should have been some consideration of a simple 'gold coin' system - it probably would have turned out to be much more effective cost-recovery at a fraction of the price.

But no! Some shark in a Gucci suit swift-talked Peter Bachelor into a bells-and-whistles system with all the associated infrastructure and expense attached and they got dazzled. Remember when it was supposed to become the next big thing in virtual currency - how you would be able to scan your card at a vending machine or buy a magazine with it? In reality it struggles with even the most basic of fare calculations... and how many hundreds of people are employed supporting the software and hardware instead of having an actual interface with the customer?
  Gwiwer Rt Hon Gentleman and Ghost of Oliver Bulleid

Location: Loitering in darkest Somewhere
Champagne talk - beer delivery.
  TedHanson Junior Train Controller

... Some shark in a Gucci suit swift-talked Peter Bachelor into a bells-and-whistles system with all the associated infrastructure and expense attached and they got dazzled. Remember when it was supposed to become the next big thing in virtual currency - how you would be able to scan your card at a vending machine or buy a magazine with it? ...
"don_dunstan"

Vivian Miners.

He was a Kennett appointee whom Batchelor didn't have the common sense to sack on day 1. Then again, I don't think Batchelor was known for his common sense. There are two complete idiots in charge of the PTV at the moment whose only claim to fame is that they are 100% Liberal Party drones, with zero commitment to public transport. If Labor doesn’t sack them soon then we are doomed to 4 years of nothing - just like the last four years.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Vivian Miners.

He was a Kennett appointee whom Batchelor didn't have the common sense to sack on day 1. Then again, I don't think Batchelor was known for his common sense. There are two complete idiots in charge of the PTV at the moment whose only claim to fame is that they are 100% Liberal Party drones, with zero commitment to public transport. If Labor doesn’t sack them soon then we are doomed to 4 years of nothing - just like the last four years.
TedHanson
Okay, thanks for completing the picture. And I can't agree with you enough about the cognitive capacity of Peter Bachelor, this is the same intellectual giant who was convinced by the privatised power companies to force every Victorian to install a smart meter at their own expense. As soon as I saw his face on the telly proclaiming a brave new world of untold benefits for power consumers I knew we were about to get screwed... sadly I was right.

My power company sent me a complex notice late last year with subtle warnings about what they were intending to charge me in the future for 'peak' and 'super peak' times (what?). What a shock (pun intended) that smart meters are used as yet another instrument for privateers to gouge unsuspecting consumers. Thanks Peter Bachelor - do enjoy your six-figure pension in retirement won't you.

Champagne talk - beer delivery.
Gwiwer
The fact that they've practically reduced the number of zones in the metro area to (effectively) one means they should have probably stuck with the simple architecture of the Metcard system anyway - it would have worked even better with only one zone. Why was it necessary to come up with such a complicated and expensive system if you're going to make the political decision down the track to get rid of zones altogether? It makes not a jot of sense.
  Gwiwer Rt Hon Gentleman and Ghost of Oliver Bulleid

Location: Loitering in darkest Somewhere
I suspect the decision to reduce the number of zones has been an effect rather than a cause.

Having been unable to efficiently manage revenue collection and fare evasion - in no small part thanks to the ticketing systems used over the years (not just Myki) - the decision would have been taken as a means to reduce the complexity and load at the backend.  Already each user is delayed a couple of seconds at every point of interaction while the "smart" (a misnomer) card is interrogated and the correct fare hopefully charged.

The same happens with other smarter card systems but they aren't encumbered with the low-spec of Myki and the huge number of possible fares each interaction has to support.

Even carving Victoria up into multiple zones, which I feel is a ridiculous concept for a vast regional area, there must still be hundreds of thousands of possible fares to charge every time someone touches their card on a reader.  Most in Melbourne are now making a journey charged for Zone 1 only.  But the system has to take its time and check whether or not they have actually come from Morwell or Murchison and has to allow that they might be travelling on to Seymour or Sale.  It takes too long because it is being asked to do too much.
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: North Haverbrook; where the monorail is king!
Okay, thanks for completing the picture. And I can't agree with you enough about the cognitive capacity of Peter Bachelor, this is the same intellectual giant who was convinced by the privatised power companies to force every Victorian to install a smart meter at their own expense. As soon as I saw his face on the telly proclaiming a brave new world of untold benefits for power consumers I knew we were about to get screwed... sadly I was right.

My power company sent me a complex notice late last year with subtle warnings about what they were intending to charge me in the future for 'peak' and 'super peak' times (what?). What a shock (pun intended) that smart meters are used as yet another instrument for privateers to gouge unsuspecting consumers.
don_dunstan
Ah yes, smart meters. Here's the thing: electricity demand changes across the day, substantially in fact. So does the price retailers pay on the electricity market. The traditional tariff used was a single cents-per-kilowatt-hour charge for all hours of the day, higher than the actual price they pay for that electricity most of the time. This is in order to accommodate the periods when the power price 'spikes' - when demand jumps or supply conks out.
The idea of smart meters is that they can charge based on the time of day. That means they can charge higher prices during peak times, theoretically discouraging use - assuming that your electricity use is mostly time- and price-elastic, which in many cases it is not. It also means that in theory you get charged less per-kilowatt-hour when you use electricity at 'off-peak' times, such as early in the morning or very late at night. It shifts the price risk to the consumer, for better or worse.

The real gouge for consumers comes from excessive network access charges - so-called 'gold plating'. That's why your power bills go up so quickly. Kind of the opposite with your gas bill though, as thanks to the new LNG export plants in Gladstone, demand for gas is going to sky-rocket this year onwards and drive up the market price for east-coast gas substantially.

Soon enough (within the decade, at most) you might be able to ditch electricity retailers altogether and just buy power off the 'open market' from whomever you like, just like the big industrial users can do today. You'll still pay the network access charges though. But you won't be able to do so without a smart meter.

Smart meters are inevitable. Of course, someone has to pay for them, somehow. Maybe the retailers or distribution companies could've - you probably would've ended up paying for them in the end though.
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
It's not just the locations that have to be accounted for. It has to know the day of travel, the time of day, the mode used, and the details of any passes.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Smart meters are inevitable. Of course, someone has to pay for them, somehow. Maybe the retailers or distribution companies could've - you probably would've ended up paying for them in the end though.
LancedDendrite
I hear what you are saying about gold plating etc - it's just that as a hapless consumer I often can't regulate time of use, it's just my individual circumstances and to do with work hours and so on.  One day it might not be like this, I know a couple of people who are off the grid entirely, the price and durability of systems has come down enormously in the last five years. Probably in another five they might make power grids obsolete, who knows (here's hoping).
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
I suspect the decision to reduce the number of zones has been an effect rather than a cause.

Having been unable to efficiently manage revenue collection and fare evasion - in no small part thanks to the ticketing systems used over the years (not just Myki) - the decision would have been taken as a means to reduce the complexity and load at the backend.  Already each user is delayed a couple of seconds at every point of interaction while the "smart" (a misnomer) card is interrogated and the correct fare hopefully charged.

....
Gwiwer
I have noticed that the response times on standard gates are very much slower when you come from a country destination - it seems to need to have a small think about what it should charge you before it actually does it!

You also touched on another bugbear of mine in the system which is the way that revenue enforcement is carried out; instead of having an almost completely open system I think things might work better if they went back to having station staff at major junctions and large stations stand there all day and physically check that things are running smoothly - or at least check when a train comes in that everyone is touching off as required. I've noticed recently at Camberwell recently there's been a staff member present nearly every time I've gone through (just like the old days...) and it's a reassuring presence in addition to deterring gate-jumping or fare evasion. It also makes it much less likely that someone will successfully form a regular pattern of fare evasion - the kind that costs them the most $$$ apparently.

Anyway... I hope that thunderstorm doesn't fire up again, it's what had me up at this ungodly hour!
  mejhammers1 Chief Commissioner

There is no 'shambles'.

The non-existent shambles have been created solely in this thread. Economic rationalists like ZH would have us believe that the system is on the verge of economic meltdown...it's not, however it's an interesting discussion nevertheless....but that's all it is..a discussion.

Happy New Year to all.

Mike.
The Vinelander
@ The Vinelander

There is no shambles, but if you think that what Victoria is offering in the way of Public Transport is little more than Adequate,then you need your bumps feeling. The Albury Line has a track fault, signalling failing somewhere on the Met system, yada,yada, yada. ZH is not a Economic Rationalist, he is a realist, clearly, subsidizing every V/Line Passenger to the Tune of $18 is unsustainable. Yes very little of the farebox revenue is allocated to Capital Expenditure even in London,. The difference is that the Farebox recovery in London allows direct subsides from Treasury to be allocated almost solely to Capital works. Whereas here in Vic the Government has to allocate 70% of its subsidy just for the day to day running of the system.

Michael
  mejhammers1 Chief Commissioner

Okay, thanks for completing the picture. And I can't agree with you enough about the cognitive capacity of Peter Bachelor, this is the same intellectual giant who was convinced by the privatised power companies to force every Victorian to install a smart meter at their own expense. As soon as I saw his face on the telly proclaiming a brave new world of untold benefits for power consumers I knew we were about to get screwed... sadly I was right.

My power company sent me a complex notice late last year with subtle warnings about what they were intending to charge me in the future for 'peak' and 'super peak' times (what?). What a shock (pun intended) that smart meters are used as yet another instrument for privateers to gouge unsuspecting consumers. Thanks Peter Bachelor - do enjoy your six-figure pension in retirement won't you.

The fact that they've practically reduced the number of zones in the metro area to (effectively) one means they should have probably stuck with the simple architecture of the Metcard system anyway - it would have worked even better with only one zone. Why was it necessary to come up with such a complicated and expensive system if you're going to make the political decision down the track to get rid of zones altogether? It makes not a jot of sense.
don_dunstan
@Don_Dunstan

The Metcard system would have needed to be replaced soon anyway. What was the real downer in this situation is that the Government did not choose to leverage of an existing Smartcard system many of which were operating e.g. Oyster in London, no they chose to re-invent the wheel, and what we have is a less than optimum system.

Michael
  Gwiwer Rt Hon Gentleman and Ghost of Oliver Bulleid

Location: Loitering in darkest Somewhere
We have paid more and got less.

The legacy of decisions made will linger for years to come and potentially long after Myki itself has been superseded.

I still feel there are unanswered questions and political cloaks and daggers which are hiding the true cost and the flawed decision-making process which is costing us dear.

While Londoners walk briskly past Oyster readers or board buses and trams with their cards held in the general vicinity of the reader and without pausing or breaking step we have to touch our cards on the exact spot on the Myki reader, wait a couple of seconds and read some rather small text before proceeding.

London is one step ahead of the game and is looking to phase Oyster out altogether for regular users.  Proximity charging from a credit or debit card is now in use.  Just hold your (UK-issued) Visa or MasterCard where you once held Oyster and you are charged the same.  Overseas cardholders and occasional visitors can still purchase and use a paper Travelcard, a Travelcard add-on to a National Rail ticket or a Visitor's Oyster card.

Up your game, Australia.
  thadocta Chief Commissioner

Location: Katoomba
We have paid more and got less.

The legacy of decisions made will linger for years to come and potentially long after Myki itself has been superseded.

I still feel there are unanswered questions and political cloaks and daggers which are hiding the true cost and the flawed decision-making process which is costing us dear.

While Londoners walk briskly past Oyster readers or board buses and trams with their cards held in the general vicinity of the reader and without pausing or breaking step we have to touch our cards on the exact spot on the Myki reader, wait a couple of seconds and read some rather small text before proceeding.

London is one step ahead of the game and is looking to phase Oyster out altogether for regular users.  Proximity charging from a credit or debit card is now in use.  Just hold your (UK-issued) Visa or MasterCard where you once held Oyster and you are charged the same.  Overseas cardholders and occasional visitors can still purchase and use a paper Travelcard, a Travelcard add-on to a National Rail ticket or a Visitor's Oyster card.

Up your game, Australia.
Gwiwer
A couple of issues here. Gwiwer - contactless with TfL is available to a lot of non-UK issued cards - from the TfL website:

"MasterCard
Nearly all MasterCard and Maestro contactless payment cards issued outside the UK are accepted.
The majority of cards that aren't accepted are issued in the USA, Canada and the Netherlands. There are also a few other cards that may not be accepted.If your card is rejected on our services, please contact your card issuer

VISA
Some Visa and V PAY contactless payment cards from countries other than the UK are not accepted for contactless travel on our services. Visa expects all its contactless payment cards to be accepted in the near future.
If you travel in London regularly, we suggest you contact your issuer and ask for a new contactless payment card (newer cards have the latest technology and should be accepted)"

Secomdly, you have constantly whinged about your doubts about the system in use - myki - to get it right.

Given that the system in use win London with contactless cards involves them recomciling the card information supplied where you touched on with the card information where you touched off, and using the reconciliation to determine the applicable fare to be charged, I am concerned about the incongruities in your argument.

On the one hand, you don't believe that a stored value on a card (myki) with a quick fare calculation (then deducting the fare from the card value) to be reliable, but you expect a system that would have more than a million touch-ons per day, with a consequent more than a million touch-offs per day, to be able to successfully reconcile those transactions without fail?

Don't get me wrong here, I trust myki, never had an issue with it, and as a regular Opal card user, I have never had an issue, and next time I am in London, I will use my Mastercard, so I trust all of the systems, I just find it hard to see how you have such issues with the simpler system whilst advocating the more complex system.

Dave
  Gwiwer Rt Hon Gentleman and Ghost of Oliver Bulleid

Location: Loitering in darkest Somewhere
Thank you for updating me on the contactless card availability in London.  Things are moving fast there as back in September on my last visit contactless was new and only available to UK-issued cardholders.  It shows just how responsive and well-resourced that system is.  There is no suggestion that I am aware of that it will (or indeed even could) be introduced in Victoria.

I trust London because it is a well-resourced and well-built (though not 100% perfect) system.

I do not trust the "simpler" Myki system because it is built on shaky architecture at indecent cost and flew in the face of much good advice to buy a ready-made and functional system.  With around 80 zones to London's 9 (soon to be 10) I don't quite follow how Myki is "simpler" as each time the card is interrogated the back end must check against every possible fare combination.  The same is true in London of course but there are many fewer possible permutations when one only has 9 zones.

Sponsored advertisement

Subscribers: g00r, Gwiwer

Display from:   

Quick Reply

We've disabled Quick Reply for this thread as it was last updated more than six months ago.