It’s a curious thing. If you have to increase fares, CPI rises are probably the most logical way to do it. But this time around, the September quarter CPI figures were heavily influenced by petrol price rises earlier in the year. Now petrol prices have dropped again. When there’s a big drop in fuel prices, and an increase in PT prices, what message are we getting about how we should travel? Perhaps it’s no wonder anecdotally the roads have got more crowded in the past few weeks.
The silver lining in the Metcard cloud is that the benefit of being able to use both zones on weekends with a single zone periodical (weekly, monthly, yearly) is to be retained after all.
As for the debate about whether or not Melbourne has the highest PT fares in the country, the figures compiled last year do need updating, but they’re pretty clear: Melbourne is most expensive for trips up to 35km; cheaper beyond (due to the removal of zone 3 in 2007).