Governments and ticket systems
The Scratch Ticket government
In 1989-90, a Scatch Ticket transport minister and government tried to replace tram conductors with loto-style Scratch Tickets. Trammies and many of Melbourne’s tram-loving community disagreed with the idea. Trams were parked in the city for 33 days. In 1992, the Scratch Ticket government was replaced by the Metcard government.
The Metcard government
This Metcard government was elected. They said the best way to do things was to privatise the tramways, split it into 2 parts run by competing companies, and to get rid of all the conductors. These policies cost the community hundreds of millions of dollars. They left us with a costly ticketing system, high levels of fare evasion, confused visitors and tourists, increased conflict between staff and passengers, passengers feeling less safe, graffiti and dirty shoes on seats.
The Myki government
In 1999 a new Myki Government was elected on a policy of bringing back 100 tram conductors. No such luck!
Instead the new government handed over public money to the private transport corporations who used the money for ticket enforcement and tram 'super-stop' attendants.
Now the new Myki ticketing system has the same problems as the current Metcard system. It is overdue and way over budget.
Meanwhile - and in spite of expensive advertising campaigns, and enforcement efforts that continue to impact poorly on public sentiment - fair evasion and confusion remains far higher than it ever was during the days when conductors rode the rails.