Thursday, March 25, 2010

Allow Myki tickets to "rollover"

Mobile phone users have long benefited from "rollover" plans where unused credit is rolled over to the next month. This benefits the user,when their usage is lower, for instance when they are on holidays.

With the introduction of myki the time is ripe to introduce this same scheme to public transport users. This initiative is all about expanding the public transport user base from office workers and students, to more casual users, that would otherwise catch a car. Obviously there should be limits on the rollover, similar to what telcos do, say two consecutive months, so casual users have incentives to travel more.

The thought process in this is casual users are hesitant to buy longer term tickets knowing their travel plans are sporadic. Giving them a safety net of 2 months to use their ticket should enourage them to make a longer term commitment to public transport usage. Hence providing a piecemeal step by step transition into becoming a permenant public transport user.

By also enforcing myki "touch" off to participate in this "rollover" initiative, the goverment provides an incentive for Melburnians to learn the touch off system. In the long run, benefiting the system by providing a better understanding of public transport user profiles.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Making myki a politcal winner - Single zone for all tram lines

Pakula's faced with a problem. Myki won't function properly on trams, let alone buses. Supposedly a "canyoning" effect is being blamed on cbd buildings for the poor reliability. I don't buy it, and besides there's a work around that could be a real political winner. Make the tram network a single zone.

That's right, lets turn this myki mess into a vote winner in an election year by making trams a single zone. This means abolishing the city saver ticket, which will dissapoint some people, but it also means abolishing zone 2 pleasing others.  Loss in revenue from one can hopefully offset the other.  Even Stevens!

Besides this initiative will have several other benefits. It will make the tram system simpler and easier to understand. It could boost patronage. It will make Melbourne a lot more accessible, especially to international students travelling to and from Latrobe Bundoora or Deakin Burwood. Importantly it simplifies the myki money calculation improving its reliability and allowing us to use myki on trams!! That's right this initiative will kill two birds with one stone. Liberals are you listening? Make it policy!!

The way I see it, the tram network is mostly inner city (zone 1) with only a few lines crossing into zone 2. Forcing people in Bundoora, Box Hill and Vermont South to pay a full zone 1+2 fare into or out of the city for an extremely slow ride can't be justified.