Saturday, June 19, 2010

The tram network is now Zone 1!

As one of the many people that advocated a single zone for the tram network, the government announcement of this occuring is of course met with praise. There are many benefits of making the tram network zone 1. 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. It removes the need to touch off for 98% of commuters. Importantly it simplifies the myki money calculation improving its reliability and allowing us to use myki on trams. Benefits aside, due to the government's impementation of this, there is one major hurdle that must be overcome, that is the requirement for zone 2 touch off.

This is presumably for those travelling completely within zone 2, say from Vermont South to Camberwell Junction. (A 90c saving, compared to zone 1 based on a 2 hour ticket). Personally, I question whether this footnote is necessary. Are there that many people that make these exclusive zone 2 trips? It would have been much simpler making the whole tram network zone 1 only, and remove the remaining zone 2 sections.

Never the less a targeted education campaign needs to take place to advise commuters of these changes. This can be via a simple annoucement 1 stop before the zone 2/zone 1 transition zone ends. Before Tyler st in Bundoora, Balwyn Rd Mont Albert and Camberwell Junction. Limiting annoucements to these tram lines and services only will limit confusion over the wider tram network, and save advertising dollars for tram network improvements elsewhere.

Pushing the zone boundaries in trams will inevitably lead to discussions on whether this can be done on trains and buses. An indepth of analysis of what stations and what buslines will soon follow.

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