[LINK] Vic transport smartcard to cost $1bn

Craig Sanders cas at taz.net.au
Wed Feb 6 18:36:16 EST 2008

On Wed, Feb 06, 2008 at 04:58:11PM +1100, Marghanita da Cruz wrote:
> But I ommitted to mention that in both Canberra and Sydney, there are
> pre-paid 10 trip bus only tickets, which is convenient and economical
> for irregular travel.  The travel 10 is flexible as it lets you pay
> for multiple zones - though not multiple modes of transport.

similar to the 10 trip tickets here, except here they're valid for any
mode of transport.

> In Sydney, the travel-10 are zone based, valid for one trip only and
> 10 individuals could travel on one ticket on one trip. In Canberra,
> each passenger needs their own pre-paid ticket.
> There is a financial and convenience incentive to pre-purchase tickets
> - prepayment would also deliver a windfall to the operator.

yep. a small amount of interest, and i bet a lot of pre-paid trips get
lost or never used (like a significant percentage of gift vouchers from

OTOH, from the buyer's POV, they are slightly discounted and are
potentially a hedge against ticket price rises. i've still got about 15
trips left at last years prices, bought a few weeks before the prices
went up.

> Validating the ticket when boarding buses/at trainstations can be
> slow, so the contactless smartcard would speed up the process,
> particularly in peak hours.

the mag stripe cards used here aren't at all slow.  

and they don't get validated when you just step onto the bus or tram
briefly to ask the driver if it's going where you need to go.  they get
validated when you insert them into one of the half-dozen or so swipe
machines on the tram or bus or train station.

stupidly complicated and fragile technology isn't needed for this job.
it's only needed in order to facilitate the transfer of many hundreds of
millions of public dollars into private hands (and to spy wholesale on
the movements of a large segment of the population).

> I am not sure how the proposed smartcards were to be procured or
> topped up.


they'll probably be theoretically available anonymously too, but in
practice it will turn out to be such a complete PITA that it's

> We once had trams in Sydney...

yeah, i know. i lived in sydney for a few years in the mid 80s.  PT
really sucked then. as did the roads (a twisty little maze of one-way
streets, all alike). i hear it's all got a lot worse since.


craig sanders <cas at taz.net.au>

Christianity might be a good thing if anyone ever tried it.
		-- George Bernard Shaw

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