At railway stations around Melbourne, they’ve started removing Metcard validators as part of the final switch to Myki. In some cases, some station entrances have no Metcard validator at all now.
In theory this doesn’t affect many people, as it’s been several months since multi-trip Metcards were sold, and also since unvalidated single trip Metcards were sold. You can now only get Metcards on trams and buses, and they’re already validated at purchase.
Accordingly, the the rules have been updated to say that an unvalidated Metcard can’t be used for travel if you can’t find somewhere to validate it:
All ticket validating devices for validating or re-validating Metcards at the entrance to designated areas are being progressively de-activated and removed.
On and after 12 November 2012, a Metcard will be valid for an entry to a designated area where the ticket validating devices have been de-activated or removed, or for a journey on a train commencing from that railway station, only if the Metcard had previously been validated and the whole of the journey or the entry conforms with a journey or an entry
authorised by it.
On and after 12 November 2012, a Metcard that had not been previously validated prior to an entry to a designated area where the ticket validating devices have been de-activated or removed is not capable of being made valid for that entry or for a journey on a train commencing from that railway station.
– Page 4ii, Fares & Ticketing Manual
It goes on to say that if the gates won’t let you out (which may happen say trying to exit a CBD railway station after commencing a trip with a Metcard which was validated on a tram or bus originally, but was not validated when you started your train trip) you can show it to a staff member to be let out.
It also specifically flags that no Metcard is valid on a service commencing after 3am on the 29th of December (in other words, the end of day in PT terms of the 28th).
So I guess the final service you can use Metcards on would be the last Nightrider bus trip commencing just before 3am on that Saturday morning. No doubt some fans will work it out and travel with Metcards on that last trip.
At this point, anybody who has unused Metcards they can’t use should trade them in for Myki Money. This doesn’t incur the old $9.80 fee, and can be done over-the-counter at Premium railway stations (for most Metcards) — or if this isn’t convenient (or you have Weekly and longer term tickets) then you can do it by post.