Myki: How to Make the Most of the New 2 Hour Fare

Myki’s 2-hour fare will now last exactly two hours. Yes, for the out-of-towners, a 2 hour ticket used to last you up to 2 hours and 59 minutes. As of Sunday 10 August 2014, a 2 hour ticket will now last exactly 2 hours.

A Typical Myki card

A Typical Myki card

At first glance you would be forgiven for thinking the PTV have come to their senses and removed some absurdity from the system. But from now we will actually have less value for money and possibly more confusion, stress, revenue collection and possibly more inadvertent fare evasion.

Previously you could touch on your Myki any time and know you have two hours of travel in Melbourne from the next hour. For example, if you touch on (begin your journey) at 8:10 AM, your two hours effectively doesn’t start till 9 AM. So  you can travel from 8:10 to 11:00 am. This made it easy to remember when your two hours expires.

From August 10 when you touch on at 8:17, your ticket will expire at 10:17. If you touch on again at 10:30 another 2 hour fare will have started. However due to the daily cap of 2 x 2-hour fares this second 2 hour block will last till the last service that day.

What does this mean to the average traveller?

  1. Less value for money.
  2. Overall increase in the use of more 2-hour fares.
  3. Potentially more fare evasion if people reply on their Myki’s having just enough for a 2-hour fare but use the 2:59 time to their advantage.
  4. People will pay more to travel, on average.
  5. More difficulty in remembering exact time of expiry, despite this being displayed on the Myki reader each time you touch on and off.

Remember These Tips:

  1. With trams and buses you touch on when you enter the vehicle so it coincides with the start of your trip. Trains, however require you to touch on when you enter the station which may be a while before the train arrives. If you wait for the train to arrive before touching on you will not be paying for wasted minutes before it arrives. Of course, we can see a big rush of people touching on at the gates just as the train pulls in. This might be an issue at busier stations.
  2. Remember to hold your Myki on the reader until you’ve finished reading the expiry time. The display will remain while your Myki is present at the reader when you touch on and off.
  3. Another point which becomes more important is that the 2 hour limit only applies to the touch on time. If your last trip for the day begins within the 2 hour window, you’re okay. You don’t have to complete all your trips within 2 hours. You only have to start all your trips within the 2 hour window.
  4. Touch on after 6 PM and you can travel the rest of the day for a 2 hour fare.

Reference (as at 9 PM AEST August 9): Changes to 2 hour Fares announcement on the Myki Website.

 

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