At the councils transport committee the other day there was a presentation about Integrated Ticketing. Much of the presentation was fairly standard with information that most people who have been following the progress of integrated ticketing will already have known i.e. what is Hop, what its advantages are, how it has been rolled out so far etc. (it doesn’t cover the Snapper issue raised a few weeks ago though).
The interesting, and concerning, part comes when it discusses the next steps.
The first three are nothing new but it is the last point that I am most concerned about. Effectively after rolling out the integrated ticketing system we will still maintain one of the key issues with the current set up, that you will still have to pay for another fare if you transfer services. Sure you will get a rebate of 50c off that next fare but you are still having to pay for it. Now in saying this I can accept this as a very short term interim step before rolling out a better fare system and this is what is said about the future stages for Hop.
Combined monthly passes are good but I just really hope it isn’t combined at the bus pass cost which I feel is already too excessive. Personally I use the all zones monthly train pass as I travel 5 stages to get to town however the same kind of pass for bus travel is an extra $20 and if I they matched the discovery pass which allows travel on almost all forms of public transport in the region it would cost a further $40. The most interesting thing from this slide though is the point about moving to a zonal based system. I had heard a while ago that one of the main reasons we hadn’t moved to one is that both the both ARTA/AT and the bus companies are afraid losing money from fares. The problem though is they seem to have modelled it based on what happens currently, not what would happen in the future if both the PT network and fares were designed to make transfers quick and easy.
The last section of the presentation also gives some information about some other activities coming up.
- Integrated ticketing facilitates more convenient payment of public transport fares for customers, removing a barrier to use – this will grow patronage.
- Integrated ticketing also removes a barrier for convenient service trip transfers between modes or operators.
- Integrated ticketing is therefore one of two strategic enablers to redesigning the PT network and bus network to form a time connected and integrated service network.
- This is currently being designed (target May/ June 2012) for local bus network redesigns & implementation over 2012-2014.
- Will provide connected & integrated services & timetables; permit removal of service duplication; create resource efficiencies & allowing more service for the same dollars.
- Other key enabler is a fully contracted bus network, rather than a hybrid commercial contracted model, PTOM from 2012.
May/June could be a very interesting time. Changing the bus network will be a big piece of work but one that is sorely needed and long overdue and as mentioned above, lets hope that we get free transfers sorted out before we start rolling out services that force customers to transfer.
Edit: and here is a video of the presentation