Monday, February 25, 2008

Missing Metcard Man

I heard of a case last week where a retailer in Glenferrie Road Malvern wanted to stock Metcards for sale as an agent but was refused by those who manage Metcard retail outlets. In my opinion, it was arguable that there were an adequate number of outlets in the area already. However, his business is so close to a major tram intersection, I think that his location should have overridden any other decision. He does stock Metcards bought at retail price and sold for the same.

Since our 711 closed, our nearest out of office hours outlet is about 1km away. A couple of times we started our journey on foot towards the city, intending to buy a Metcard along the way and then catch a tram but ended up walking all the way into the city.

A convenience store has now opened across the road in the Albert Park Manor, a boutique hotel. It is very useful to us, but it does not stock Metcards, well officially. So after hours there is still nowhere to buy a Metcard. He wants to stock them but again, the authorities say NO.

I told him I will contact the authority and suggest that he would be a very useful Metcard outlet. I will do so.

Melbourne's ticket system has been described as very user un-friendly. Why are they choosing to make it even more so? I believe some countries have tram and bus tickets available at every little shop you can find.

And yes, we should be better organised with our tickets and buy them in advance, but sometimes it just slips your mind and then there are the times when visitors turn up and we want to go somewhere on a Sunday and we don't have enough Sunday tickets.


  1. Behold the Labor delight - making the network more anti-user since 1999!

  2. They just want to limit those pesky passengers that insist on using public transport despite all the hurdles they put in the way :P

  3. Here in Fleetwood we have a little bloke inside every tram. (Actually he doesn't have to be little...he can be any's just that most of them seem to be little for some reason.)

    He wears a green uniform and has a machine round his neck that dispenses tickets for a price. We call him a 'tram conductor'.

    Sometimes the tram driver even doubles up as the conductor and has a special 'change drawer' and 'ticket machine' attached to his 'dead man's handle'. (No Frankie Howard type 'Ooh Err Missus'es please.)

    It's very convenient. Saves having to go shopping for the tickets before going anywhere near an actual tram. Makes sense to me...or have I missed out on something obvious again?

  4. I understand the technology running the system is near collapse but no money is being spent as Myki is on the horizon.

    Like Sir Humphrey's hospital Jayne, how much better our public transport would run without passengers.

    BWCA, aka Ann, aka Dys something informs me that Fleetwood has a proud tram history. I will get around to checking. It is marvellous how you English retain such quaint things such as tram conductors. We rid ourselves of such an anachronism years ago, and look how much better off we are!

  5. "Melbourne's ticket system has been described as very user un-friendly."

    ... and Sunday savers! What a joke! There are about half a dozen outlets between Chateau M'Lord and Pascoe Vale station. Each and every one of them is closed on Sundays.

    Essendon station is the nearest fair dinkum station at which you can buy a Sunday Saviour.

    So what you can do (to avoid being kicked to death by in mufti ticket inspectors) is buy a 2 hour ticket via the machine (when it works)at Pascoe Vale. Get off at Essendon Station. Buy a Sunday Saver.

    At this point you have probably had to take out a second mortgage or extended your Mastercard credit limit.

    You've got to love Lynne Kosky and her undying commitment to Sunday strap-hangers.

    Bring back Peter Spyker I say!

    Myki? Reckon I'll see it operating successfully in my life time? Not on your, my or anyone's Nelly!

    (Curmudgeonly harrumphs off in all directions at once on shank's pony express!)

  6. I wrote a post sometime ago about Sunday Saver v two hour ticket on Sunday. In essence, one ticket inspector said she would not report a two hour ticket user for going past time on Sunday as the value of the ticket was the more. The other said he would. Of course I am talking about full price two hour ticket, which would cost more than the Sunday Saver.

  7. Oh, I think Spyker is busy with his chooks still.

  8. I'm in the same boat, unless I catch the bus to the station I can't buy a ticket anywhere around here and I can't buy tickets at Southland to keep for the weekend.

  9. Your local shops for local people should sell them Jah Teh, if they don't, it is a perfect example. You could be really nerdy and order them over the internet.

  10. We have one small local shop and it's a 20 minute walk to others and since they're right next to the bus stop they probably wouldn't be allowed to sell them.

    Internet? I presume I would need a credit card that had a balance attached to it.

    I can't see Myki being a success either. Why can't they put people back on the job instead of machines? The money they've thrown at the system would have put more People back into work. I was going to say women would have more sense but I remembered who's in charge of transport, stupid tart.

  11. "Ann, aka Dys something informs me that Fleetwood has a proud tram history..."

    It was the first, and is therefore the oldest, electric tramway in the world. And it doesn't half bloody feel like it.

  12. Yes, I guess you do need some funds available on a card Jah Teh.

    Oldest electric in the world. Now there is a challenge.

  13. It's particularly challenging on the old bones in the'ass'.

  14. Bobby8:59 pm

    Well you could take a look at Moonee Ponds station, they have two ticket machines on Platform one, host station staff at peak hour and a mini newsagency that operates inside the former station offices at peak hour.

    The mini newsagency also sells Metcards and I dare-say attracts more business than the two machines simply because the lady behind the counter is so helpful, particularly to the elderly.

  15. Arrggghhh. It is the Blackpool tram. I wondered how I had never heard of the Fleetwood tram system. I have forgotten more than I remember about the Blackpool trams. But they are nice and BIG.

  16. Coincidence! This arvo was cold called today by some research company conducting a survey on Melb's tram services.

    I think he missed a lot of my choleric nuances. Well, smart arsed subtleties don't fit into their neat little tick boxes. (My bad!)

    Tried to get my two bob's worth in about Sunday Savers and the stupidity of not being able to use notes, only coins on trams.

    The lad tried to tell me that it as probably because of security issues.

    "Yeah right", I intoned, "thieves are more likely to knock over a ticket machine on a crowded tram rather than attaching block and tackle at midnight to a machine at an unmanned station." I think I might have added. "WTF!"

    (BTW Shirl, think you are confusing 'Blackpool trams' with 'Black rams' - well that's what Frankie Howerd told me when we were straining the peas together at the dunny next to the tram stop.)

  17. Er...the Blackpool and Fleetwood Tram Corporation, if you don't mind. Just because we're stuck at the forgotten end of the line doesn't mean we don't own part of it.

  18. Yep Bobby, people really do like person to person contact.

    Shirley reckons M'lord is lucky that Frankie did not go the grope.

    I would love to go to Blackpool, orright, Fleetwood too, when we are in the UK, but I can't see it fitting in.

  19. Andrew, if you do manage to fit it in (after London, Bath, Cheddar Gorge, Stone Henge and all the other usual tourist traps, of course) give us a shout and we'll show you the sights, the sites and the 'absolute sights' if you want.

  20. Most kind Brian. I am not sure how much of the above we will see. I am fighting a bit against it.

  21. Andrew, don't bother with London it's a dump. And it's full of cockneys. Bath's worth a visit...for the Roman stuff, of course. Stone Henge is a waste of space in my opinion (we've got tons of ancient stone and wooden circles up our end of the country and they're all far better) and as for Fleetwood...well, Fleetwood's the Diamond in Britain's crown. The tram service is excellent (we've been assured that they'll have finished digging the tracks up by easter). And the village green is something again.