On my way into the station this morning, I was handed a brochure about CityRail’s new 14 Day RailPass. A bargain at exactly twice the price of a weekly pass, I suspect that it is, in fact, a cunning plan to prise more fare evasion fines from me. Thanks to public holidays, interstate trips and the like, my weekly ticket buying cycle tends to wander through the week and, since there are no ticket barriers at Newtown station, it’s all too easy for me to breeze straight down onto the platform only to be trapped at Wynyard without a valid ticket. The station attendants will always let me through to buy a ticket, but the railway police (if that’s what they are called) are another matter. Take it from me, no amount of waving expired weekly tickets will get you out of the $200 fine. Even writing pitiful letters doesn’t help. Now I’m sure that CityRail is wise to my forgetfulness and realise that if I can forget that I’m supposed to buy a new ticket on Tuesday morning, how much more likely will I be to forget to buy one every second Tuesday?
And don’t get me started on public holidays: with only one holiday in the week a weekly is more expensive than buying return tickets each day. Of course, with a 14 day pass you are twice as likely to get a bad deal. I’m sure they’ll argue that it’s all about avoiding the Soviet bread ticket queues at Wynyard station, but this new ticket is certainly not for me!