My aunt and cousin are visiting from interstate. Over dinner last night they were telling me that the most confusing thing about Metcard is the requirement to validate it straight after buying it at a railway station machine.
I saw a businessman (evidently an occasional user) make that mistake yesterday morning. He realised after walking past the validator that he had to go back.
It makes some sense to make Metcards like this, so they can be bought in advance. But over the 10+ years the system has been operating, it has proven to be one of its most confusing attributes for occasional train travellers.
When Myki is eventually fully running (sometime before the year 3000), if you don’t have a Myki card, you’ll buy Short Term tickets. Intended for occasional users including tourists, they will only be available for 2-hour or Daily fares — here’s what they look like:
On trams you’ll buy them from the machine and they’ll be already valid.
On buses you’ll buy them from the driver and they’ll already be valid.
At stations? Same as now with Metcards. You’ll have to touch them on to validate them/set the expiry time.
I think this is a mistake. I reckon that given they will be trying to encourage as many people as possible onto reusable Myki cards, they should make it so a Short Term ticket bought at a station is already valid for the day or 2-hour period.
They are not intended to be bought in advance or in bulk (that’s what Myki cards are for) and it would be less confusing for the occasional users who are most likely to be using them.
What do you think? Agree? Disagree?
(Footnote: It may well be that the same type of ticket will be used for once-off V/Line fares. I’ll admit it may be of some merit to make these valid only from the time/date of first touch-on, if bought in advance/over the counter, but that should be an exception to the rule.)