Fun with Fares

Is V/Line charging too much for travel in Zone 1? This probably isn’t news to anyone, but I thought it was a little odd.

A full fare ticket from Ararat to Southern Cross (or Footscray) costs $28.20. This might seem a bit pricey until you remember it’s a 200+ km trip which makes it a bit more reasonable. The concession fare is of course half that, at $14.10.

If you were to travel to Sunshine just 6 minutes down from The ‘Scray, however, which is in both Myki Zones 1 and 2, the V/Line Paper Ticket Fare is $21.80 for full fare and $10.90 for concession. You can then exit the station with your paper ticket, touch on with your Myki and travel the rest of the way to the city for a Myki money fare of $4.10 full fare, or $2.05 concession.

On weekends and public holidays, the daily cap for Myki is $6.00 which means you save 40 cents no matter what. On a weekday it might be marginally more expensive, but cheaper if you make a return journey.

Just one of those funny things about fares when you go from V/Line pricing units to Myki Zones, a full $6.40 difference in fares between Sunshine and Footscray.

If we could get Myki all the way out to Ararat (and Maryborough, and Echuca as well) that would be great too.

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A Second Myki Reader at Kyneton Platform 2?

While Myki was rolled out on Vline trains during 2013, the hardware to make this possible had been rolled out a long time before, with Myki readers present at most Vline stations. How these readers were distributed around the stations however, was questionable. This post is a case study of my local station, Kyneton and the oddity of its reader on Platform 2.

The Background

Kyneton station has 3 readers on Platform 1, one for each entrance to the station. Platform 2 however, only has one reader. The single Myki device causes significant queueing for passengers in the afternoon peak.

Platform 1 is the busiest platform at Kyneton, with all trains to Southern Cross using it, as well as many off peak trains to Bendigo. Having three readers is therefore justified. However, passengers travelling to Melbourne can arrive anywhere between an hour (the frequency of trains on the Bendigo Line) to the very minute that their train departs the station. This means that there are no real queues to board the train, some people are more prepared than others, and there is a more even spread of arrival times. However, passengers disembarking the train do not have the option of arriving early, instead arriving at the station at the same time as everyone else.

The problem with queues at Kyneton seemed to have a solution in sight, however, in August last year, when I noticed some installation works, corresponding with the upgrades to Passenger Information Displays that happened across the Bendigo Line.

 The Solution?

However, progress on the installation was slow, with the stand for the reader being installed, and nothing else happening over several months.

On the 10th of September, local member for Macedon Mary-Anne Thomas announced that an additional Myki Reader had been installed on Platform 2 at Woodend, another station prone to crowding in a similar manner to Kyneton.

On the 9th of December, the installation at Kyneton was still not completed, with still just the stand being present on the platform.

On the 18th of February, I finally asked the local Member, Mary-Anne Thomas, what was taking so long on the installation. Her reply was that V/Line were having trouble accessing the ticketing rack at Kyneton.

The ongoing saga

So it turns out it’s not just that V/Line wont install an extra reader, they can’t actually access the services they need to access to install the reader.

Here’s hoping it will eventually be installed. The Temporary fencing that has surrounded the electronics cabinet probably isn’t cheap after being there for six months.

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At least it isn’t obstructing too much platform space, but its been there so long it’s almost like it’s a part of the station now. 

Naming Melbourne’s Train Lines

A fun little exercise I tried out in response to some other blog posts I have seen around, such as here and here.

This is based on the eventual conclusion of the PTV Network Development Plan (plus a few of my own conclusions and assumptions), if that ever happens.

Victoria Park Doncaster

Hurstbridge

Named after the station that is to become the Interchange, and also provides some symmetry to the Royal Park Line.

Ringwood Belgrave

Lilydale

The Interchange between the two points. As these lines will still be going through the City Loop, the ‘Ring’ portion of the name is also evocative of this.

Flinders Alamein

Glen Waverley

Laverton

Williamstown

I liked the idea of naming the lines after inner-city streets, given that they are all historical and not too controversial. The Glen Waverley line already runs direct to Flinders Street Station most of the time,  as do trains from Williamstown and Laverton. Laverton here, by the way, refers to services via the Altona Loop.

Swanston Pakenham

Cranbourne

Bacchus Marsh

Sunbury

The Sunshine-Dandenong line that will be created by the Melbourne Metro Rail Project. Going under Swanston Street, I think the Swanston Line would be the perfect name for it. I also think that electrification to Melton, when it does occur, should proceed to Bacchus Marsh straight away.

La Trobe Craigieburn

Baxter

The Frankston Line and Craigieburn lines are to be joined through the City Loop. As much of this occurs under La Trobe Street, it might as well be named that.

Royal Park Wallan

Sandringham

I found this line a hard one to suggest a name for. I went with one of the biggest landmarks on the line, which is almost half way between the two termini, Royal Park. It also helps create a nice symmetry with the Victoria Park Line.

Spencer Whittlesea

Wyndham Vale

Once again taking the name of the street it will go under, the Spencer line will be the result of a Melbourne Metro 2 Project, connecting the South Morang Line to the Werribee line, via Fishermen’s Bend. I’ve taken the liberty of extending the Mernda Extension even further to Whittlesea as a projection for future growth out in the Northern Suburbs.

Geelong Waurn Ponds

South Yarra

Under the current Vline Service it is called the Geelong Line, and I see no reasons to change that.