I hear the following will happen next year when new ticketing system comes in to place (smart card), there be new zones and they will be based on V/line zones.
Zone B = Zone 2
Zone C = Zone 3
Zone D = Zone 4
Zone E = Zone 5
Zone F = Zone 6
Zone G = Zone 7
And so on?
For Geelong Line the following:
Zone 3 Little River to Lara
Zone 4/5 Lara to North Geelong
Zone 5 North Geelong to Marshall
Melbourne to Geelong will be a Zones 1 to 5 fares
Is this information correct? If not can you please put up correct information.
How much extra will zones 1+2+3+4 cost compare to Zone 1+2+3 ticket?
My colleague Adrian Webb ("revenue") will be happy to answer this one. AW - get to work!
Thanks Jim. 8)
In summary, we have been aligning V/Line and Metcard for some time so that we can have one ticketing system when smartcards are introduced in 2007. Alignment was required in four areas: concessions, fares, zones and products.
Concessions: Concessions between all operators will be fully aligned from 27 August when Seniors will get concessions on V/Line at all times. This means that after three years of progressive changes we now have one set of concessions that apply to Metcard, V/Line and regional buses. This is a significant achievement. In practical terms this means that when we implement the new ticketing solution and you have a concession smartcard, you will be getting concessions on all operators (and not trying to do what some other cities have done which is to program concessions on an operator by operator basis). This has been hard work, but much easier than a similar alignment I did in Brisbane, where there was pretty much no alignment. It may interest you to know that prior to my integrated ticketing system being introduced in South East Queensland there were some people who were entitled to free travel on some operators, half price travel on others, and full fares on the rest. We weren't that bad in Victoria, but there were some strange things we have gotten rid of.
Zones: We are going to implement a statewide zone fare structure for Victoria. This doesn't mean that we will call Ballarat Zone 9, it just means that we will calculate fares on that basis. eg. someone will still buy a fare from Zone 1 to Ballarat. We've pretty much achieved this already. The zones to Melbourne can be seen in the Victorian Fares and Ticketing Manual which can be downloaded from the Metlink website. The manual does NOT show the new zone overlaps which won't be promoted until the new system is introduced.
Fares: With common zones, we need common fares. On 1 January we aligned fares from certain V/Line stations to match their future zone. For example Lara will be in Zone 3 (so the fare from Lara to Melbourne is now the same as the Zone 3 fare).
Products: We've aligned the products of V/Line with Metcard. eg. they both have weekly tickets valid for seven days (remember, the Metcard weekly used to be valid for eight days if first validated after 3pm), they both have monthly tickets, V/Line has a Day Return and Metcard has a Daily with the same rules, etc. In other words, when the new system comes in, we will have common ticket types on all operators.
So what does all this mean?
Well it means that when the new ticketing system is implemented, it will be easier for customers and staff to understand as there will be one set of zones, one set of ticket types, one fares table and one set of concessions.
Pretty simple huh?
It means if you understand how ticketing works on your local bus down to the shops, it means you also understand ticketing on V/Line, on the Geelong Transit System, on trams, on trains, etc.
For the next twelve months it is a little difficult to understand as we have to run them as separate ticketing systems due to technical system limitations of the current hardware. But all this goes when the new ticketing solution is implemented.
We implemented as much as we could within the current systems (eg. integration of V/Line tickets from 22 April 06), but more integration benefits will occur in 2007 with the new technology.
In relation to Geelong fare levels, we regularly review fare levels but our research indicates that they are broadly cost competitive with driving. Exact boundaries are still yet to be determined for some areas. So you'll have to wait and see for some things.
The other thing you have to consider for V/Line is the difference between cash fares and periodicals. V/Line's cash fares are relatively high, but their periodicals are very heavily discounted in some cases. So when you compare fares look at those as well. The weekly fare to Geelong is at about the right level (eg. $71.30 per week for Zone 5/E, vs. $62.40 for Zone 4/D or $52.20 for Zone 3).
Victorian Fare Policy Manager