From The Canberra Times, Friday 28 July 1995 –
By GRAHAM DOWNIE
ACTION is confident everything is ready for the complete introduction of its electronic ticketing system on Monday.
All pre-purchased tickets will be replaced by tickets with a magnetic strip which must be put into a validating machine when boarding a bus.
All old tickets will be accepted until the end of August and quarterly tickets will remain valid until the end of September. Unused Farego tickets can be exchanged for magnetic tickets, but ACTION would prefer people to use them during the next four weeks. Any unused tickets will then be exchanged.
People with concession tickets must still show their concession authority to drivers when boarding. If this is not done the full fare will be charged.
The magnetic tickets are quite robust but they should be stored carefully to avoid damage to the magnetic strip. ACTION advises that care should be taken not to include the tickets in the week’s washing or to leave them near a magnetic field, in direct sunlight or near a heater.
Refunds will not be paid for tickets which are damaged, but faulty tickets can be returned for a refund. Ticket-return envelopes will be available on all buses.
The new weekly, monthly or quarterly tickets will be valid for the specified period from the day on which they are first used.
Parents will be able to check on their children if they use Farego tickets because travel information will be recorded on the tickets when validated.
There are two major reasons for the change to the electronic ticketing system — one, to reduce fare-evasion and, two, to provide ACTION with more data on bus use.
Inspectors and supervisors are now authorised to board buses and to check tickets. People found travelling without a valid ticket can be finedup to $500.
If the ticketing system on a bus fails, passengers will travel free until the fault is corrected.
The new system allows for considerable flexibility and in time ACTION expects to introduce a range of new tickets.
From next year these could include a school-term ticket.
Data available from the ticketing system will include the times at which people board all services and the number of people travelling. That information will be used for planning future services.