CityRail’s 14 Day RailPass

by Stubborn Mule on 26 June 2008 · 5 comments

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!

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Craig June 26, 2008 at 5:19 pm

An interesting take on this Mule. It may well be a cunning stunt. But won’t it simply mean that the ticket queues will be twice as long every second Monday and Tuesday? I’m just not convinced about the “Saves you time” slogan…

2 stubbornmule June 26, 2008 at 8:23 pm

@Craig: you are right to be suspicious about anything coming from CityRail!

3 dan June 27, 2008 at 1:06 pm

if they were for real, they’d let you buy a 10 trip ticket, with a bit of a discount – like the buses do. let alone bringing in some sort of smart-ticket…

4 Steve Reynolds July 16, 2008 at 9:28 am

It does save you time, as you only have to queue half as often. But this is more about saving RailCorp’s money. It’s about station staffing. Selling tickets less often means you can have fewer ticket sellers on a given shift. If everyone used annual passes or bought their tickets online or at ticket vending machines, they wouldn’t need ticket sellers at all – except to cater for pensioners who still unreasonably enjoy the sentimental romance of hard currency and human interaction.

5 stubbornmule July 16, 2008 at 12:15 pm

@Steve: You are right, of course. Also, if enough people use the new ticket queues should be shorter, depending on how much they reduce staffing.

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