Thursday, March 12, 2009

A Tale Of Two Fares

Since coming back to Belfast and starting a new job, I'm back to using the local public network of the Metro buses. For a year in New Zealand I had the luxury of living a half hour walk away from work and my time in Sydney was divided between a train or a ferry, the latter being more enjoyable but ultimately more expensive and lengthy.

The cost of a bus ticket has increased dramatically since I've left, most likely due to petrol prices sky-rocketing and other factors relating the economy set against Translinks own internal infrastructure and business plans.

Nevertheless, costs go up and this piece is more about the incongruities between the pricing structures of paying in cash and using a Metro card for your journey.

In order to get a bus into town from where I'm living now - Dunmurry incidentally - it will cost you £1.80. Taking into account my 10 journeys back and forth during the working week, you're looking at a total of £18 a week. If you buy 10 journeys using a Metro card, this falls to an incredible £13.50 - a saving of £4.50 or 25%.

Two questions come to mind. Firstly, why rip customers off who are paying in cash for the same journey and secondly, in knowing this, why do people still use cash for their journey when there is a vastly less expensive (and let's face it) more convenient way of cashless travelling?


Blogger Skry said...

With my Metro card in Christchurch I pay $2.10. £1.80 is almost $5, which seems excessive considering the two companies privide similar services.

OK so Christchurch is about half the size of Belfast, but I would have thought a bigger city (with the right organisation) would have a larger customer base and therefore more ability to make money and not charge as much.

Think you could cycle to work?

9:23 am  

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