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All you freeloading bus-goers cost ACTION $5 million

By Consumer - 10 January 2012 25

buses

There’s no such thing as a free lunch, they say, but last financial year there were plenty of free bus rides. Around $5 million worth actually, thanks to the aged-and-failing Wayfarer ticketing system which was recently phased out for MyWay.

The figure is part of an ACTION bus audit compiled by the auditor-general.

“So that $3-$5 million is an estimate of how much that was occurring. It actually wasn’t lost, it was revenue not collected.

“So what was happening was the ticket machines on the buses weren’t working, so people were riding the buses without paying essentially.”

Shame on you all… perhaps the MyWay system sprung into action (har har) a fraction too late?

What’s Your opinion?


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25 Responses to
All you freeloading bus-goers cost ACTION $5 million
mcmc 9:56 pm 10 Jan 12

Even WITH the MyWay system, I went to tag on the other day and the driver waved me through because his machine wasn’t working!

gooterz 8:03 pm 10 Jan 12

With the old system mirgration you had two changes to win.

With systems without the myway.. flash that.
With systems without the magnetic tickets.. flash that.

Now its 2012 does that mean we now get charged the full fare if we dont tag off?

I still find it kinda creepy that the government knows where we get on and get off!

Very Busy 7:09 pm 10 Jan 12

The old Wayfarer ticketing system was so old that spare parts were no longer being produced. They were not available at any price.

If my memory serves me correctly, back in 2006 Stanhope decided that it would be a good idea to move the management of ACTION into the TAMS Department. Previously it was its own Government entity managed by a General Manager. That also coincided with a slashing of services and some bus drivers received redundancy payouts. Passenger numbers declined and more services have since been introduced requiring much outlay on new branding to get patronage levels back up.

Now I would like to pose the theory that if this Bus service was still managed by experts in their field as it was prior to 2006, the old ticketing system would have been replaced prior to it being so far beyond its use by date and other inefficiencies may not have occurred. Have there been any cost savings since ACTION was moved to TAMS?

Ryan 7:03 pm 10 Jan 12

AG Canberra said :

I understand their reluctance to buy parts for the machines they were about to rip out but a quick cost benefit analysis would have shown which were worth fixing and those that weren’t.

It wasn’t that they were reluctant to buy new parts, it was that they literally could not get them anymore.

IIRC, in the last year or so of the Wayfarers they were relying solely on second hand ones that had come from another, smaller operator.

puggy 4:59 pm 10 Jan 12

powerpuffpete said :

Or asked people to trade in their Wayfarers for a MyWay pass by a certain date.

This, at least, they did. It took some time for my credit from my old magnetic ticket to pop up on my MyWay card, but it did get on there.

Aenveigh 4:31 pm 10 Jan 12

You can still get free rides on MyWay if the driver hasn’t established the route on their console. You tag on and tag off and MyWay thinks it’s the same spot, so doesn’t deduct a fare. The machine still beeps though so it all looks legit. Until they try and work out how much that bus took for the day (if they do that… the Auditor-General report seems to suggest they don’t worry too much…)

Instant Mash 4:20 pm 10 Jan 12

Hey, they can’t just refuse service, can they?

Stevian 3:37 pm 10 Jan 12

What am I supposed to do when they won’t take my money, Shove it down their throats

powerpuffpete 3:02 pm 10 Jan 12

What an unusual post. People haven’t been sneaking onto the bus without paying, they have been unable to pay or swipe their passes due to the machines being broken down or due to the replacing of Wayfarer machines with MyWay while continuing to allow people to use their Wayfarers.

So it’s actually Action’s fault. They shouldn’t have had busses with faulty machines running, or they should have moved quickly to fix them.
If they were willing to honour existing Wayfarer tickets for an interim (which really, if they hadn’t, people would have thrown sh$t at the bus driver) then they should have continued to make those machines available (along with the MyWay). Or asked people to trade in their Wayfarers for a MyWay pass by a certain date. They even could have incentivised the trade-in and offered 1 free ride and it still would have reduced the outgoing costs. I’m sure there are a number of options that weren’t exercised.

If they didn’t have the money to do so then it sucks for us, as it’s our only form of public transport. Bit of a money black hole, isn’t it…

NoImRight 2:18 pm 10 Jan 12

AG Canberra said :

I reckon the loss was easily more than $5 million.

.

Yes the Auditor-General is proven to be not as good a source of figures as when someone “reckons”

MsCheeky 2:13 pm 10 Jan 12

Honesty or dishonesty had nothing to do with it. I had a valid ticket, but the machine to accept it didn’t work. Are you a thief if the MyWay machine is out of action on your bus today?

AG Canberra 2:09 pm 10 Jan 12

For about 6 months before MyWay was introduced I paid for about 20% of my bus trips. I knew one bus at a certain time in the afternoon that never had a working ticket machine. All you had to do was show the driver your 10 trip ticket and you were on.

I reckon the loss was easily more than $5 million.

I understand their reluctance to buy parts for the machines they were about to rip out but a quick cost benefit analysis would have shown which were worth fixing and those that weren’t.

james270 2:08 pm 10 Jan 12

MsCheeky said :

I didn’t understand why people were getting their MyWay tickets early and paying while that rort was available.

Because they were honest?

Mysteryman 2:07 pm 10 Jan 12

“So what was happening was the ticket machines on the buses weren’t working, so people were riding the buses without paying essentially.”

Who’s fault is that? ACTION’s.

MsCheeky 1:59 pm 10 Jan 12

That was me! I had lots of the free rides. I hung on to a Wayfarer ticket to the bitter end, because in the last few months of the operation of that system, most of the machines were decommissioned. As long as you waved your ticket, it was a free ride – easily 9 out of 10 towards the end. I didn’t understand why people were getting their MyWay tickets early and paying while that rort was available.

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