Saturday, December 17, 2005

Good news on V/Line-Metlink fare integration

The changes, to come into effect next year, are described at Viclink.

Fare integration means an end to the extra cost and inconvenience of buying multiple tickets for the one journey.

It will almost eliminate the problems that visiting country bumpkins have with ticket machines on trams, as they won't need to use them for 99% of trips. Similarly local regional city buses are a mystery to nearly all tourists. Now there's incentive to use them and patronage should increase greatly if propery co-ordinated and advertised.

In any system there will be anomalies and unfinished business. For example it is desirable that private bus routes like 788 (which are integrated for 60+ but not for everyone else) are brought into line given their proximity to Melbourne and the commuter/tourist potential. Ditto for Skybus getting full Met fares (even if Zone 3).

But overall it's a major advance that will make transport cheaper and more usable to more destinations. In fact you'd need to go back to the 1980s to find a fare reform that was more significant.

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