Thursday, January 24, 2008

I'm angry about the T-card

After a zillion years and $95 million, the government has pulled the plug on Sydney’s T-card. When we were in Seoul it was wonderful to have a card which worked on all transport, which totted up your fare wherever you went with a single swipe. You didn’t even have to take it out of your purse, just wave it over the sensor. It can work in other cities, bigger cities. What is the problem here?

We don’t believe that it is entirely the fault of the company involved, although there is probably some of that. We think it is Sydney’s arcane mess of private transport operators who will not agree to change any of their ways.

Whoever is to blame, the people of Sydney are the losers. We still have to figure how many sections (huh?) we want to buy on a bus. We can’t buy a train ticket from Newtown to the Airport and return to Circular Quay - oh no, we have to buy two separate tickets.

Sydney is an utter mess of traffic and we are all as mad as hell.


  1. You go grrl! I don't think it's entirely the problem of the company either. This govt seems to be so incompetent at anything that requires co-ordination of more than two things. The problem is that the opposition appears even more useless.

  2. I assume that Seoul has a zone-based system, like London? Sydney, unfortunately, has both a zone-based system (Travelcards), and a distance based system (sections, single tickets between train stations). And a very odd combination of on/off peak, singles, dailys (pensioner discounts), weeklys, monthlys, buses, ferrys, light rail, and who knows what else. I would hate to be the BA on that working out what the business rules were!

    So, until Sydney rationalises the fare structure (which takes an act of parliament for the public stuff I think), there's no way any automated ticketing system will work. The government were pig-headed enough to refuse to change the fare structure and the vendor were stupid enough to agree to implement the system without fully understanding the complexity of the problem. Dumbness all round I'd say.

  3. London also had all the on-off peak system, daily travel cards etc but their card calculates the fare at the time of use, and adjusts at the end of the day if the number of trips you've made would have cost more than if you'd bought a day pass. And how I agree with M-H. At the moment we have a choice between incompetent and abysmal.

  4. My days of battling with zone deliberations, ticket juggling, timetable delays and station closures are now a distant memory. Public transport doesn't exist in our neck of the woods.
    However, encouraging use of public transport for city-dwellers is a small but important step in tackling our use of fossil fuels.
    I acknowledge that it's a complicated process, but if we can't even sort out ticketing for public transport, what hope have we got for tackling carbon emissions overall?