Generally every January, public transport fares in Victoria go up.
This year it’s expected to be a 4.3% rise — this is CPI of 1.8%
2.8% (for the year to September), plus a 2.5% 1.5% rise that was first announced by the Coalition in December 2013, to be implemented in January 2015-2018, and dutifully followed by Labor each year.
(Did the Coalition plan that rise to cover the Free Tram Zone and Zone 1+2 capping? I’m betting yes; they announced the zone changes as an election policy just three months later in March 2014, which was quickly matched by Labor. I wonder how long it’ll take for zone 1+2 fares to reach their previous levels?)
Just before the price rise is a good time to decide if buying a Yearly Pass is good value.
These are available for any combination of Myki zones, provide a discount (365 days for the price of a 325 day Pass) — and because you pay up-front, you’ll be getting travel during 2018 for the 2017 price.
Cheaper than buying a Yearly Pass at the retail price is buying it through Commuter Club. CC is a discount scheme offered by a number of large corporate employers, particularly government departments and universities.
The biggest seller of CC tickets is the PTUA. PTUA membership plus the cost of the ticket is still a saving compared to the full price — $84 cheaper at 2017 prices. And by being a PTUA member, you’re supporting the organisation and its campaigns.
PTUA CC orders at the 2017 price will close on 30th November. This is imposed by PTV on all CC re-sellers, though some may have slightly different close dates.
- PTUA CC tickets are paid in advance. Some employers who offer CC will do it by regular salary deductions, which could be a better option.
- Unfortunately CC tickets are only available for Zones 1 and 2. (That said, if you’re a V/Line user living further afield, you could probably buy a Zone 1+2 CC ticket and load Myki Money onto it for your travel further out.)
So, how much can you save? It varies, according to how much you usually travel. Here’s a couple of ways of working it out.
Cost in days – this compares the cost of 365 days on a Pass, with the cost if you’re paying for individual days
What this means is that if you buy a PTUA Commuter Club Yearly for $1515, you’re getting 365 days of travel for the same cost of 184 days of Myki Money, or 308 days of Myki Pass days (assuming you buy Passes of between 28 and 325 days).
In both cases, the cost in days goes down in 2018 if you’ve paid in advance, because the prices go up.
Another way of working it out is Cost Per Day (inspired by this Reddit post).
So a PTUA CC Yearly will cost you $4.15 per day if you travel every single day, or $5.83 per day if you travel on weekdays only — compared to a Myki Money price of $8.20 (2017) or $8.55 (2018).
A secondary saving might be if, because you’ve prepaid your travel, you end up using public transport more often instead of driving.
If you think this all sounds more complicated than it needs to be, you’re right. Myki was originally designed with automatic weekly and monthly capping which would have made it a bit easier to pay-as-you-go on Myki Money but still get the discounted Pass rate.
Perhaps one day it’ll be re-instated, but until then, for regular users it’s worth doing a little research to find the cheapest option.
- PTUA Commuter Club Yearly Myki — order and pay by November 30th to get 2017 prices