For those of you who don’t read the Victorian Fares and Ticketing Manual for fun, here are some rules about Metcard ticketing that you may not know about. These rules are not expected to change when Myki is introduced. (Edit: Weeklies may change.)
Everyone knows two-hour tickets are rounded up to the next hour [p13]. But if you validate a two-hour ticket right on the hour, it’s valid for three hours.
Validate at or after 6pm and it’s valid until 3am. [p13]
The expiry time means you have to have commenced your trip, eg entered the station paid area, or boarded the tram or bus. [p13]
(It’s unclear what happens if you need to change trains and leave the paid area to do so, as is necessary at some locations.)
If your service was due to depart before the expiry time, but is later than that, or is cancelled, you can still use the ticket for that trip. [p13, p95] Update: This clause is removed under Myki.
The end of the day in ticketing terms is 3am. If you validate a ticket between midnight and 3am, it counts as the day before (eg a Daily will be valid only until 3am.) [p13-14]
This means that a Weekly (etc) ticket that says it’s valid until Wednesday is actually valid until 3am on Thursday morning.
City Saver tickets are only valid for a single trip. This means you can swap trains within the City Saver area, as long as you don’t leave the fare paid zone, but you can’t swap trams or buses. With all other tickets you can swap as much as you like before the expiry time. [p16]
On weekends, a weekly, monthly, yearly ticket is valid in both metropolitan zones. [p15] (At one stage this benefit was to be abolished but they changed their minds.) Update: This benefit is removed under Myki.
If you use a weekly, monthly or yearly and need an extra zone (eg on weekdays), you can just buy the extra “extension” ticket, if necessary at your destination. If you’re on a two-hour or daily ticket you’re meant to have one ticket covering your entire trip.[p94]
A 10 x 2 hour ticket is about a 20% discount from the price of buying individual tickets.[p9]
10 x 2 hour tickets convert into a Daily if you validate the same ticket for a second two-hour block in one day. This effectively makes the 5 x Daily tickets redundant, as they are less flexible.[p13]
If you live in zone 2, you can buy a zone 1+2 off-peak daily for slightly less than a “normal” daily (about the same discount as a 10 x 2 hour), but only from railway stations, and you can only use it after 9am.
For weekends, a Sunday Saver (currently $3.10) or a 5 x Weekend Daily ($15.00) is a good deal.
What did I miss? What did I mess up?
PS. A little radio this morning: ABC AM: New Melbourne tram stops pull up short