Metcard off the rails

METCARD ticket machines on the Belgrave and Lilydale train lines will begin to be switched off from next month, the Transport Ticketing Authority has announced.
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Machines at Bayswater, Boronia, Ferntree Gully, Upper Ferntree Gully, Upwey, Tecoma, Mooroolbark and Heathmont will be turned off from Monday, April 9.

Machines at Box Hill, Blackburn, Nunawading, Mitcham, Heatherdale, Lilydale and Belgrave will follow on April 16.

Not all commuters the Weekly spoke to this week are ready for the changeover.

Angela, 25, said she only used public transport once a month and had no plans to purchase a myki card. “I’ll probably just catch public transport only when I can be bothered now.”

Another passenger said removing the ticket machines was not a good idea because if the myki system was ever inoperative, a ticket would still need to be purchased.

Another regular train commuter, who started using a myki card before Christmas, said she was taught how to use the card by helpful staff at Heathmont station, but was concerned how the elderly would adapt.

“It takes a bit of time to learn how to use, and the elderly especially may get confused when there’s nowhere to purchase a Metcard any more.”

Public Transport Users Association outer east convener Jeremy Lunn said yesterday the switch-off was likely to confuse commuters. “There hasn’t been a lot of information about the switch-off so many people won’t be aware.”

He said people who didn’t use public transport regularly would get a shock when they turned up at a station. “Now there will be absolutely no option to buy short-term tickets. The only way to travel will be if you have a myki card.”

A full-fare myki pass costs $6, concession $3. Passengers can then top up with the desired amount needed to buy a ticket.

Myki cards can be purchased from train stations, 7-Eleven stores, myki南京夜网.au or by calling 136 954.