A site devoted to discussing techniques that promote quality and ethical practices in software development.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Brisbane Transport Smart Card tries to out smart its customers

Recently, Brisbane introduced its transport smart card system called Go Card that comes with its sets of rules and additional benefits to entice the Brisbanites to give up the extremely generous paper ticket to use this system.

There are no shortage of blog messages alleging that this is an underhand way of getting more money out of the Brisbanites. Is this true? Is it trying to out smart its denizen?

Analysis using their published fare table for train journey confirms the allegations are well founded. For example, the followings are based on 2 journeys per day:
  1. For travelers buying monthly tickets, Go Card saves you money if you travel 4 days or less.
  2. It seems Go Card is targeting less frequent traveler or those using public transport on ad hoc basis. In this case, the never-expire store value compared to finite expiry day associated with paper ticket is a definite attraction.
  3. It seems Go Card is set to break even on Monthly ticket price and that the traveler travels 5 days, except for distance (>10 zones ) travelers. This is ignoring the money for Go Card's deposit.
  4. For people living more than 3-zones, the 3, 6, and 12 months ticket is more cost effective than Go Card.
  5. For people living in 3-zones or less, Go Card is more cost effective with 6, or 12 months ticket.
Of course, the Go Card cannot match the benefit of paper ticket that allows you to travel unlimited trips within the same zone coverage. If you rely heavily on public transport, paper ticket is way to go. The Go Card becomes really expensive the more you travel irrespective of your ticket purchasing pattern.

So it seems the government is trying to use the convenience sales pitch of Go Card to out smart the consumers and to discourage people to use public transport.

No comments:

Blog Archive