BALLARAT commuters will be left without a choice from next month when regular paper tickets are made extinct on V/Line trains.
The final stage of the myki rollout will occur on February 24 with every V/Line commuter now forced to use the troubled ticketing system.
Anyone travelling between Wendouree station and Melbourne will now be forced to adopt the controversial myki card even if it is a once-only trip.
Public Transport Users Association regional spokesperson Paul Westcott told The Courier he expected some commuters would be upset with the change.
“I think they will be annoyed, just as regional bus travellers were annoyed last year when the single trip ticket option was withdrawn,” he said.
“Myki is unique as far as we aware in major ticketing systems around the world in not having a single trip option, all other major ticketing systems have it mainly because it is a logical thing to have and it is what people expect.”
Mr Westcott said part of the change was to ensure consistency for public transport users across the state.
However, he also said the ticketing system still had problems even after years of use in metropolitan areas.
“It is a disincentive to use public transport, obviously more for people who use it infrequently,” he said.
“It also undoubtedly encourages fair evasion because if people don’t have enough money to actually buy a myki, because of course you actually have to buy a myki in order to travel, it is not just a question of having the right fare.”
Public Transport Victoria director of customer services Alan Fedda said more than 70 per cent of V/Line commuters had already switched over to the myki system.
“The introduction of myki means V/Line customers have more ways than ever before to purchase their ticket and to travel, and can top up at machines at stations or online in the comfort of their own homes,” he said.
Paper tickets will still be used on long distance travel and for family traveller tickets.