Ride free zone

 
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
The Melbourne tram ride free zone starts today.

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  jdekorte Deputy Commissioner

Location: Near Caulfield Station
The Melbourne tram ride free zone starts today.
freightgate

Which is going to work wonders with tram track works from the 2nd Jan - 11th Jan at the Flinders/Spencer St intersections - how many routes use this intersection? Just a bit of (necessary) disruption.
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
Trams using this intersection include 70 and 75 along Flinders St, as well as the 12, 96 and 109 along Spencer St/ Clarendon St. Also the City Circle tram will see disruptions.

Driving around the CBD today and yesterday I've noticed a lot of the new look Ride Free Zone signs have been installed at most, if not all relevant stops.
  Gwiwer Rt Hon Gentleman and Ghost of Oliver Bulleid

Location: Loitering in darkest Somewhere
Dare I say yet another indictment of the failings of Myki?

If that system was user-friendly and offered single-use tickets at point of entry this might not have been necessary.

It's already proven impossible to have tram users tag off at busy stops while still keeping the service moving.  Now it seems it's become impossible to ignore the number of visitors booked for "fare evasion" largely within the CBD through nothing more than ignorance of the system.  

Same comments can be applied to the new "Two for one" price if you travel from Z2 into Z1; you effectively no longer need to tag off anywhere unless you both board and alight a train or tram in Z2.  

On the positive side it is a major incentive to use public transport though there are no major car parks on the edge of the Ride Free Zone meaning those who drive are likely to still do so.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
If that system was user-friendly and offered single-use tickets at point of entry this might not have been necessary.
Gwiwer
Yesterday on a Swanston Street tram I was surprised by announcements at the Arts Centre stop that 'the free tram zone ends here - please ensure you have a valid Myki'.

The system is basically unenforceable, that's the message that seems to be getting across. I read somewhere that the latest experiment in $75 'on the spot' fines has been a failure too - people who know the system well enough still manage to evade inspectors. They might as well go the whole hog and forget enforcement altogether; have a voluntary $1 or $2 'gold coin donation' to an honesty box at either end of the tram... it would probably collect more actual revenue than that billion dollar white elephant known Myki does.
  Gwiwer Rt Hon Gentleman and Ghost of Oliver Bulleid

Location: Loitering in darkest Somewhere
YThey might as well ..... have a voluntary $1 or $2 'gold coin donation' to an honesty box at either end of the tram... it would probably collect more actual revenue than that billion dollar white elephant known Myki does.
don_dunstan
Precisely what I suggested ten years ago except that it would be a mandatory fare not an optional honesty box.

We could have saved billions of Dollars and still have had a multi-modal ticketing system for those who need it.  Many don't and are effectively penalised by having to use Myki.

This isn't a Myki topic as such.

The Ride Free Zone is with us.  Let's see if it works as intended.
  GeoffreyHansen Minister for Railways

Location: In a FAM sleeper
Dare I say yet another indictment of the failings of Myki?

If that system was user-friendly and offered single-use tickets at point of entry this might not have been necessary.

It's already proven impossible to have tram users tag off at busy stops while still keeping the service moving.  Now it seems it's become impossible to ignore the number of visitors booked for "fare evasion" largely within the CBD through nothing more than ignorance of the system.  
.
"Gwiwer"


That's what I was thinking. Is it hard to enforce ticket purchasing? Not that I'm complaining about free tram travel.
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
That's what I was thinking. Is it hard to enforce ticket purchasing? Not that I'm complaining about free tram travel.
GeoffreyHansen
I don't think it's hard, though if you were to focus on making ticket purchasing convenient and easy, then it may not be necessary.
  route14 Chief Commissioner

Is Arts Centre included in the ride free zone?  From the map I got the only part that's outside the City Circle is the Victoria Market part.
  Gwiwer Rt Hon Gentleman and Ghost of Oliver Bulleid

Location: Loitering in darkest Somewhere
No.  The ride free zone ends at Flinders Street / Princes Bridge one stop north of the Arts Centre.  If you don't want to pay for the extra few metres it's only a few seconds walk.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
The stop at St Vincent's Hospital also looks inclusive ?
  Gwiwer Rt Hon Gentleman and Ghost of Oliver Bulleid

Location: Loitering in darkest Somewhere
St. Vincent's Plaza is included.

The free tram zone is basically the City Circle route and all stops / routes inside it, plus the self-contained Collins Street extension, both routes to the Vic Market (included as it is a hugely popular tourist destination) and St. Vincent's Plaza (included because it serves a major hospital and is a route interchange).

See the definitive map here which names the boundary stops.


http://www.yarratrams.com.au/media-centre/news/articles/2014/free-cbd-tram-zone-from-1-january-2015/
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
I read an article yesterday suggesting that it's contributing to a lot of overcrowding on trams during lunch time. Also I think it will probably encourage some pan-handling because beggars will work the trams in the immediate vicinity of the city without worrying about being caught by inspectors.
  Gwiwer Rt Hon Gentleman and Ghost of Oliver Bulleid

Location: Loitering in darkest Somewhere
I read an article yesterday suggesting that it's contributing to a lot of overcrowding on trams during lunch time. Also I think it will probably encourage some pan-handling because beggars will work the trams in the immediate vicinity of the city without worrying about being caught by inspectors.
don_dunstan
It is too early to really quantify the impact of the free tram zone.  

There has always been crowding on the trams at lunchtime usually at its worst along Collins Street as everyone tries to get from office to lunch spot at the same time then back again.  

Outside of normal peak hours and a few minutes at midday and again at 1pm it's not that bad.

Many city workers have been on holiday through this month with full staffing resuming on Tuesday after the Australia Day weekend.  By Easter we might see true levels of demand and travel patterns beginning to emerge.  I don't expect a lot to change; more people will be using the trams overall not just for a few minutes each lunchtime.

There have always been those who abuse the tram service for their own ends.  There has always been and still are powers to remove them on the grounds of antisocial behaviour.  Begging is not a ticketing offence and has gone on through Myki, Metcard, Scratchies and when connies were aboard.  I dare say there will be AO teams, possibly in plain clothes, deployed as they always have been at times in the CBD who will manage this.  Aside from that any driver can make a call if an urgent problem arises.  FOC will then determine the response and can request AO or Police attendance or both.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
I caught a Z1 though the city mid-afternoon today and it was really too crowded - only having two doorways is an issue but it was made worse by people getting on for one or two stops and standing right in the doorways blocking other people getting on and off. As a result the trip though the CBD was a crawl; it was really stupid for those people to bother with a tram - especially for one or so blocks of travel when it's patently faster to walk.

I agree that it's too early to tell what will happen but my feeling is that it will end up being one of those policies that's just too good to be true... but it will probably take a few years of chronic overcrowding before they change their minds.

The fundamental problem is the ticketing system - it's a real dog. They've got to do something about making casual use easier, even if it's just $1 coin turnstiles at the city stops (just a thought).
  calt Chief Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
I caught a Z1 though the city mid-afternoon today and it was really too crowded - only having two doorways is an issue but it was made worse by people getting on for one or two stops and standing right in the doorways blocking other people getting on and off. As a result the trip though the CBD was a crawl; it was really stupid for those people to bother with a tram - especially for one or so blocks of travel when it's patently faster to walk.

I agree that it's too early to tell what will happen but my feeling is that it will end up being one of those policies that's just too good to be true... but it will probably take a few years of chronic overcrowding before they change their minds.

The fundamental problem is the ticketing system - it's a real dog. They've got to do something about making casual use easier, even if it's just $1 coin turnstiles at the city stops (just a thought).
don_dunstan

With all platform and busy stops, there should be stop side validators to ensure quicker boarding.
Hard to explain to punters when to touch on, but I'm sure a quick educational campaign would have fixed that.

With my solution, you could have easily kept the City Saver Zone.
  comet4 Station Master

What public servant or government officers(s) decided that the Swanston Street (north end) tram free zone should end at Latrobe Street and not Victoria/Franklin Street? In case they don't know, the CBD ends at Victoria Street.

The Elizabeth Street and Peel Street zone goes all the way to to Victoria Street to include the QV Market.

Just seems totally illogical to me, but then, we should expect that I guess.
  Pastalatzis Beginner

Location: South Morang
What public servant or government officers(s) decided that the Swanston Street (north end) tram free zone should end at Latrobe Street and not Victoria/Franklin Street? In case they don't know, the CBD ends at Victoria Street.
comet4

I thought this odd.  Also odd is the cessation of the free zone at Spring street for collins street.  Does not allow you through to St Vincents.  Why?
  Gwiwer Rt Hon Gentleman and Ghost of Oliver Bulleid

Location: Loitering in darkest Somewhere
There will always be some apparent inconsistencies to such things.  

As I understand it the Free Tram Zone was proposed as the traditional CBD grid bounded by and inclusive of Flinders, Spring, LaTrobe and Spencer.  The kink around the Vic / Nic intersection reflects reality on the ground - trams do not run straight up the full length of Spring Street.

It made sense to bolt on the stub ends to Docklands as those are currently and for the foreseeable future unlikely to be through routes to points beyond and most also forms part of the current City Circle route which is free anyway.  It was also overloading as regular commuters waited for it in preference to revenue services.  

I suspect the Vic Market was included as being the biggest tourist destination very close to the zone.  To police fare payment on that stretch would require cohorts of AOs at the Vic Market stops potentially issuing RONCs to every second passenger.  Far easier to concede the reality of the situation and include it which also promotes rather than harms our tourist trade.

There are other key destinations just outside.  St. Vincent's Plaza is one.  This differs to the Vic Market in not being a tourist destination.  Other tourist hot spots such as Brunswick Street, Bridge Road, the MCG and St Kilda are somewhat farther out and beyond the scope of what is really only a CBD free-ride zone.  The boundaries must be drawn somewhere.
  route14 Chief Commissioner

So the only way that you can legally travel free to St Vincent Plz is by route 24, 27 (or is it 24D now?), 30 or a diverted route 86 service, or on an Etihad Stadium extra from Preston that's carring in/out via LaTrobe St?
  Gwiwer Rt Hon Gentleman and Ghost of Oliver Bulleid

Location: Loitering in darkest Somewhere
So the only way that you can legally travel free to St Vincent Plz is by route 24, 27 (or is it 24D now?), 30 or a diverted route 86 service, or on an Etihad Stadium extra from Preston that's carring in/out via LaTrobe St?
route14
St. Vincent's Plaza is outside the Free Tram Zone which ever route you use.  If you tram is diverted and leaves the Free Tram Zone you become liable to pay the appropriate fare.

You can get to St. Vincent's at no cost by alighting at the corner of Victoria and Nicholson Streets when coming from LaTrobe Street or Spring Street.
  packa Junior Train Controller

I've been using the St. vincent plaza stop using the Latrobe tram and didn't realise it was outside the zone till I used another tram that crosses spring street near parliament station and heard the announcement stating it was the boundary.  Not wanting to sound cheap but this really seems like a no brainer to have included With St Vincent plaza stop the superior stop from a safety perspective for frail or elderly passengers.
  Gwiwer Rt Hon Gentleman and Ghost of Oliver Bulleid

Location: Loitering in darkest Somewhere
I understand the point you are trying to argue.  

St. V's is not a tourist destination nor is it within the CBD / City Circle route which is what defines the Free Tram Zone.

If the zone were extended beyond that - which is it is to the Vic Market I accept but purely on the grounds that this is an A1 tourist destination - then where does one stop?  The Arts Centre?  Domain Interchange?  

You can argue cases for various boundary stops beyond where they are set but remember that for each "free" ride most of us contribute, through our taxes, to the cost of providing the service.

I feel the boundary as it stands is realistic, enforceable and logical even if those who travel from within the Free Tram Zone to St. V's (and indeed the Arts Centre) might not agree.
  richardlu_yy Chief Train Controller

Location: Singapore
I understand the point you are trying to argue.  

St. V's is not a tourist destination nor is it within the CBD / City Circle route which is what defines the Free Tram Zone.

If the zone were extended beyond that - which is it is to the Vic Market I accept but purely on the grounds that this is an A1 tourist destination - then where does one stop?  The Arts Centre?  Domain Interchange?  

You can argue cases for various boundary stops beyond where they are set but remember that for each "free" ride most of us contribute, through our taxes, to the cost of providing the service.

I feel the boundary as it stands is realistic, enforceable and logical even if those who travel from within the Free Tram Zone to St. V's (and indeed the Arts Centre) might not agree.
Gwiwer
Only problem that it is sort of funny to have the entire Route 30 within the Free Tram Zone. Except St Vincent's Plaza itself.

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