Monday, October 23, 2006

Morally right, technically wrong

R did not think ahead about his day's public transport travel. If he had, I would have worked it out in advance. We boarded a tram and he validated his ten trip ticket. It was the last trip on his card. When we arrived at the city to change trams, he decided he would duck across the road and get another ten trip ticket. I saw a problem.

After your second validation of your two hour ticket, you are not debited again. You have already paid just a little more than the value of a daily ticket. But if your second validation is via another ticket, then the system will not know it is you and will debit another two hour trip. I knew he would have three seperate two hour trips that day, so after one validation of his new ticket, we agreed that he would just keep the two tickets as proof of payment of two two hour trips, should he be challenged.

Funnily, later I was challenged by an authorative person for my ticket, but R just walked straight past them.


  1. Thanks, you've inspired a post on authorized officers.

    Apparently the Myki thing will be the end to all that confusion. One of the drivers at dodgy brothers bus inc said they will have one of their buses fitted with some test equipment in addition to the metcard equipment as part of a pilot program.

    I'm not sold on the concept but it should be interesting to see it in action.

  2. I did a similar "technically wrong, morally right" dodge on the weekend.

    Had bought and validated a Sunday saver (value $2.50), caught train to Croydon, rode my bike along the Dandenong Creek to Dandenong to catch a train home. At Dandenong Station I realized I had lost my Sunday Saver Ticket. My fault (had left it in my pocket instead of securing in my purse), so I went to buy a new ticket. But station unattended and ticket machines so badly vandalized that I couldn’t identify which buttons to press to select Sunday Saver. So I ended up buying a Seniors Daily for $3, I am clearly ineligible for a seniors card, but figured I could defend myself if challenged, as I had spent 50c more than the Sunday Saver.

    Not only was I not challenged, but the inspector at Flinders St actually took my ticket and fed it through the barrier gate for me, without actually looking at the ticket!

    [An aside - why was Dandenong unstaffed? The Metlink website lists Dandenong as a "premium station".]

  3. Interesting. So many people go out of the way, such as yourself, to do the right thing, but then the system does not do the right thing by them. Of course Dandenong should be staffed.
    Hope you enjoyed your ride. It sounds nice.

  4. altissima: I could be wrong, but I don't think you can buy a Sunday Saver from ticket machines. Retail/Counter sales only.

  5. I was going to say that too Andy, but I was not 100% sure.