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Letters to the Editor

From time to time, a commentary on the world will bubble up inside of me to the extent that I'm forced to write a letter to my local, metropolitan, daily newspaper, The Age. This is where I blow of some steam. Feel like venting too? Add your own comment or visit my homepage.

Friday, November 26, 2004

A Ticket to Ride

One of the great strengths of our public transport system is its universality - highly-paid executives and pensioners ride next to each other on our trams, trains and buses. However, this is also its weakness as "one size fits all" means that the price/quality point is averaged out. In other words, half the commuters feel that the quality (frequency, comfort, reliability, coverage) is too low and would happily spend more to improve it, while the other half feel that the tickets are too steep and would accept lower quality for a price cut.

Surely in this age of smart cards, intelligent transport networks and paradigm shifts we could have a public transport system that accommodates the very different needs of its users? Price discrimination sounds ugly, but then, we're not forced to the average when it comes to tickets for The Eagles, the Commonwealth Games, a flight to Sydney or indeed anything else.


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