Sydney’s mytrain weekly tickets are made for– you guessed it– weekly use. The average user would carry around these tickets for at least two train journeys per workday, plus excursions at the weekend.
However, the weekly mytrain tickets are made from paper, just as are the single-use or return tickets.
This is stupid.
Paper wrinkles, and the ticket-reading machines on Sydney buses and at train stations cannot read wrinkled tickets. These mangled tickets, mere victims of life in a commuter’s pocket, get spat back out with a “fault” or “invalid” message.
Bus drivers and train station attendants are so used to seeing these unreadable multi-use tickets that they barely give them a glance. This is how they deal with an inherently flawed implementation (paper) of what is essentially a good idea (multi-use transit tickets).
Basically, transit staff members don’t give a shit. So, what happens if you just use an expired and wrinkled ticket? Chances are that the driver or gate attendant won’t read it. Mind you, you could get fined if you try to pass a fake ticket, but your chance of getting caught is, in my experience, slim. Using a valid yet unreadable ticket, I’ve been challenged once in something like 27 transactions.
NYC’s Metrocard is plastic. Rechargable and easily recyclable. Bendable but not wrinkle-prone. Is plastic more expensive to create and distribute? Answer that question with another question: how much fare money is Sydney’s transit system giving up with a paper ticketing system that’s doomed by design?