Monday, March 22, 2010

I have a very nice ticket

I have a very nice ticket. It is a yearly Metcard ticket, with which I have been able to travel all over the city, on tram and train and bus, for as much as my little heart desires. My yearly Metcard ticket is useful, nice and bright and sparkly, or at least it used to be. I have had my yearly Metcard ticket for one year.

So, this morning I walked from Preston heights to Preston Station, without my useful, nice and bright and sparkly yearly Metcard ticket. (They haven't found a way yet to invent walking tickets. I'm sure they're working on it.) I walked up to the counter and asked to buy a new useful, nice and bright and sparkly yearly Metcard ticket. Simple, right?

Couldn't buy a yearly because apparently train stations aren't selling them any more. Friendly MetMan dude behind the counter told me to buy a myki* because I can't get booked on trams and buses if that's all I had. Couldn't buy a myki because the machine they had in the corner wasn't selling them yet. Tried to get a daily off the ticket machine. Couldn't buy a daily off the ticket machine because it ate $20 and gave me nothing back - no change, no ticket. Eventually wangled one - a ticket, I mean, not any money - off the patient and friendly MetMan dude at the counter. Couldn't get my money back because the people who do the machines are an entirely different company.

I wonder if there is a moral, a message, a fundamental truth to be drawn from all this wangling with tickets and public awareness campaigns and pricing and companies and contracts that the benevolent commissars in State Government are overseeing with the introduction of this new myki ticketing system? It's all very confusing to me, but I believe there is a message that we can deduce from it: and that message is 'elephant'.

In the meantime, I still have my nice but a little-bit-dirty-and-growing-less-useful-every-day yearly Metcard still with me. I think I might frame it and hang it up on the wall.

*Myki, as non-Melbournians may have heard, is the new nice and bright and sparkly ticketing system that they're bringing in to replace Metcard. The principle difference, so far, seems to be that this new nice and bright and sparkly ticketing system doesn't work.


flipsockgrrl said...

Should you acquire a shiny twinkly Myki ticket, it may pay to have a couple of old-fashioned 2hr cardboard tickets secreted in the back of your wallet as well. A colleague reports (from bitter experience) that possession of a shiny twinkly Myki is not enough to prevent one's integrity being impugned on a tram - and one's bank account being depleted by a fine for not having a valid tram ticket of the non-shinytwinklyMyki variety :-(

Caz said...

Yes Tim, the ownership of a cashed-up myki won't prevent fines on trams and buses that don't yet accept myki. (Well, they do, but not officially.)

I just want to know two things:

- who's the idiot who wrote the business case?

- who's the idiot who approved it?

I have my myki card (got it while they were free, as I resented the idea of paying $10 to get a card so that I could then put cash on it so that I could continue to use public transport), but have not and will not be using it until Metcard draws its very last swipe.

Dan the VespaMan said...

Don't worry too much about the $20 Tim. Here in Sin City we have just heard that $500 million of taxpayer money has been spent on a train line that is not going to be built. Ingenious!

TimT said...

Grim news. Thanks for the advisories, chaps. And Dan, next time I purchase a multi-million dollar train line I'll be sure not to buy it off the State Government...

Alexis, Baron von Harlot said...

Since my yearly metcard expired on the 11th March, I have tried not to use the public transportato at all, even though this required me to walk 10km into the city on Saturday evening to meet some pals. My calves are getting sturdier every day: thank you, Myki.

ras said...

Heh, I have a shiny yearly Metcard, until that Elephant actually works us Tramway employees arent being issued with them. Not that out yearly metcards will ever run out, mine says it expires at the end of 2010.

Yes, you can be booked on a tram, by a nasty RPO Officer. Carry a Metcard, they're doing the rounds on all trams lately

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