Ways to save with myki.

So I've done up a lovely spreadsheet with some scenarios.  There are obviously a myriad of different travel patterns and ways for people to use public transport, but for the majority it's probably a nine to five routine.  So basing it all around a 5 week cycle with one public holiday thrown in (Australia Day) - there's a reason for this - we'll see which way is the cheapest.

myki money - The Early Bird.

By far the cheapest way to travel is to use myki money and early bird.  Sadly, early bird isn't available on trams or buses, only trains.  So if you travel on tram or bus, move along, nothing to see here.

As long as you touch on prior to 7:00AM, and off prior to 7:15AM, your trip on trains is free.  So, if you are able to get up early enough and can get to work/school/whatever early, travelling by early bird is by FAR the cheapest option, even better than myki pass, even better than commuter club.  But you need to do it EVERY DAY.  Do you really want to get up that early, every day, in the depths of winter?  If you do, it'll only cost you $115.50 for 33 days in zone 1, even if you use myki at the weekend.  See the spreadsheet for other zone costings.

Commuter Club.

Not on the spreadsheet, but Commuter Club is the next cheapest option.  The catch, however, is that you need to buy an entire years worth up front.  Not just anyone can get it either, you need to apply through your employer if available, or somewhere like the PTUA.  A yearly is not for everyone however.  I urge you to think long and hard before buying a yearly.  It is possible, if done cleverly, to work myki to your advantage and spend a similar amount to a yearly without paying for it up front.

From the PTUA, a yearly works out to about $3.55 a day in Zone 1, a massive saving over a normal 365 day myki pass at $3.82 a day if bought up front.

You could of course buy a yearly myki pass at the myki machine at the normal retail price, but you'd be nuts to do so.  Even if you don't give two hoots about the PTUA, it's still way cheaper to join and buy your pass through them.

Normal myki pass.

A 33 day myki pass costs $141.90, @$4.30 a day in Z1.  You start the pass on a Monday, and it finishes on a friday 5 weeks later, and then for the intervening weekend you travel on myki money and save yourself some money using the $3.50 weekend cap.  Then you buy your next 33 day pass on Sunday night or Monday morning and start the whole thing again.  Perhaps read this to see some of the things that are handy to know about a myki pass.

myki money with 1 day off per fortnight, and only using PT one day at the weekend.

Here's an example scenario for someone with a bit of a flexible schedule.  They work a 9 day fortnight and might only use PT one day at the weekend (also they didn't use it on the Australia Day Public Holiday).  Total cost using myki money is $157.50 in zone 1.  So more expensive than a myki pass, but not paying for it up front.

myki money, no weekends.

This person travels on myki money during the week, but doesn't use PT at the weekend.  They also didn't travel on the public holiday.  Total cost $168 in zone 1.  Travel even one weekend, it gets more expensive obviously.

myki money, travelling every day.

If you travelled on myki money every day for the entire 33 days, it would cost you $199.50.  The most expensive option.  You would do well to consider myki pass, and save yourself almost $55 in the process.

So to sum up, myki pass is probably the best option for the majority of people.  myki money is more flexible if you don't travel every day, but even then a pass might be worthwhile.

EDIT updated on 08/01/2013 to reflect the Jan 1 2013 Price Rise.  Spreadsheet also updated.