E-Tags the go as myki take its toll, lobby group says
Victoria's trouble-plagued myki smartcard should be abandoned and replaced with e-Tag, the successful electronic payment device for toll roads, the state's public transport lobby group says.
The Public Transport Users Association says the removal of the last remaining single-use myki tickets from regional buses later this month should be the cue to roll out toll road technology on public transport.
Unlike myki, e-Tag is simple and inexpensive for occasional travellers to use, the lobby group argues.
"Most regular users of CityLink and EastLink have an e-Tag, while many less frequent users opt to set up an access account or buy short-term day or weekend passes for travel," the association said in a statement on Monday, April 1.
Introducing e-Tag technology to public transport would offer users the option of a regular or a single-use ticket, it said.
The association has also proposed that public transport users who travel without an e-Tag be given three days to buy a pass after making their trip, "removing the need to carry a myki card at all times in case they make an unexpected or spontaneous public transport journey".
This would cancel the need to penalise public transport users caught without an e-Tag with a large fine.
"Even if users forget to pay within three days, the small admin fee of $11.34 charged on top of toll payments made more than three days after travel is still much less than the $207 fine under myki," the association said.
"For public transport users opting to use e-Tag, the upfront payment for an e-Tag will be fully credited towards travel, unlike the $6 cost of a myki card which is non-refundable and not credited towards travel," it said.
The proposal also involves installing gantries at railway stations, which would fix commuter bottlenecks at station gates.
"Switching to e-Tag will also save time entering and exiting stations," the PTUA said. "Slow response times touching on and off with myki can create long queues at station gates. However, e-Tag's faster response times will enable passengers to run past the e-Tag platform gantry to catch their train and still touch on successfully."
Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/etags ... z2PAulhg4q