Ted, Bernie, Bring back City Saver.

A twitter discussion last night inspired this post.

Under Metcard, City Saver is a ticket that allows a single trip in the City Saver Area.  The current prices are for a single City Saver ticket, $3.10, or a 10 * 1 City Saver Trips is $24.40, so each trip is $2.44.

Originally, City Saver was part of myki when it originally started in Melbourne in very late 2009/early 2010.  If you touched on aboard a tram inside the city saver area (assuming the readers were working... they weren't all operational back then, and you weren't meant to be using them anyway) you would only be charged a city saver fare.  If you then did another tram trip, your fare would be upgraded to a zone 1 2 hour.  I tested it on several occasions and on entering and exiting the city saver area I was charged the correct fare and the details showed up on my travel history as being in the city saver or zone 1 area depending on which side of the border I touched on/off.

Completely useless fact:  The City Saver Zone was also known as "Zone Zero".  They should SO have publicised that.  "Hey Mum, I'm heading into ZONE ZERO!"

Also travelling between any of the City Saver stations was the same price as well.

However, in July 2010 it was announced that City Saver under myki would be removed, as was the touch  off requirement on trams.  The fear was that crowding on trams would increase tram dwell times and entry exit times as more people had to touch off when exiting the tram (a valid concern in my opinion).

So, to remove the touch off requirement, they got rid of City Saver.  If you touched on inside the old City Saver Zone (zone zero) or anywhere on the tram network, you would now be charged a zone 1 fare.

As most tram routes don't go into zone 2, this was a good idea.  Routes 75, 86, and 109 do however go into zone 2.  The zone 2 section of those routes was abolished, and became part of the zone 1/2 overlap.  So if you touch on aboard one of those routes in the overlap area of the route, and are only travelling in the overlap, you were still required to touch off to receive the lowest z2 fare.  Otherwise you would be charged a default zone 1 fare next time you touched on.

So, my suggestion is, why can't city saver be re-instated, and operate the same way?

Touch on aboard a tram in the city saver area.  If you want to be charged the city saver rate, then you MUST touch off.  For many inhabitants of the City Saver area, it's going to cost them much more to travel under myki than it did under metcard.  Someone who lived say near Domain interchange might commute by tram to Melbourne University.  Under metcard it only cost them $4.88 a day to do so as long as they only did the two single journeys.  Under myki it would cost them $6.56.

Also the removal of City Saver from the stations was completely un-necessary, it could easily have been retained, as you are required to touch off on trains anyway with myki money, and most of the stations involved are gated.

Item of interest:  even though city saver has been removed, it still shows up in various places on myki machines, causing even more confusion:

I know there are bigger priorities and problems to solve with myki right now.  But there are no doubt a lot of City Saver users who won't be switching to myki until the last possible moment because it's going to cost them more.  Throwing them this bone would be a positive and welcome move.