I have a very nice ticket. It is a yearly Metcard ticket, with which I have been able to travel all over the city, on tram and train and bus, for as much as my little heart desires. My yearly Metcard ticket is useful, nice and bright and sparkly, or at least it used to be. I have had my yearly Metcard ticket for one year.
So, this morning I walked from Preston heights to Preston Station, without my useful, nice and bright and sparkly yearly Metcard ticket. (They haven't found a way yet to invent walking tickets. I'm sure they're working on it.) I walked up to the counter and asked to buy a new useful, nice and bright and sparkly yearly Metcard ticket. Simple, right?
Couldn't buy a yearly because apparently train stations aren't selling them any more. Friendly MetMan dude behind the counter told me to buy a myki* because I can't get booked on trams and buses if that's all I had. Couldn't buy a myki because the machine they had in the corner wasn't selling them yet. Tried to get a daily off the ticket machine. Couldn't buy a daily off the ticket machine because it ate $20 and gave me nothing back - no change, no ticket. Eventually wangled one - a ticket, I mean, not any money - off the patient and friendly MetMan dude at the counter. Couldn't get my money back because the people who do the machines are an entirely different company.
I wonder if there is a moral, a message, a fundamental truth to be drawn from all this wangling with tickets and public awareness campaigns and pricing and companies and contracts that the benevolent commissars in State Government are overseeing with the introduction of this new myki ticketing system? It's all very confusing to me, but I believe there is a message that we can deduce from it: and that message is 'elephant'.
In the meantime, I still have my nice but a little-bit-dirty-and-growing-less-useful-every-day yearly Metcard still with me. I think I might frame it and hang it up on the wall.
*Myki, as non-Melbournians may have heard, is the new nice and bright and sparkly ticketing system that they're bringing in to replace Metcard. The principle difference, so far, seems to be that this new nice and bright and sparkly ticketing system doesn't work.
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