Why Are Sydney mytrain Weekly Tickets Made of Paper?

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?

Sydney multi-use train, ferry and bus ticket

About Jordan

Jordan Matthew Yerman started writing during his third year of high school, where his teacher discouraged his use of the eff-word as "crude, unnecessary and uncouth". While attending UC San Diego for his degree in Political Science, Jordan picked up acting; he would later attend the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, living in the UK for four years before relocating to New York City. To get by, he has worked as a proofreader, model, technical consultant, HR trainer, sign-placer, sales director, crate stacker, bartender, photographer, real estate broker, and as an exhibit at the Bronx Museum. As an actor, Jordan has performed in the USA, England, Scotland, Germany, Belgium, and Netherlands, from stage to indie screen to voiceover, including London's West End. Jordan has been around the world 2 3/4 times. He currently lives in Vancouver and works in New Media; capital N, capital M. You can reach him via jordan at international jet trash dot com.