How does your ticketing system work?

 
  seb2351 Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
I have moved to Adelaide recently, and managed to get pretty confused about how your ticketing system works for the train.
Looking at the website, and the way I read it I can only buy a ticket 2 sections at a time, and you cannot buy tickets at the station you need to get some sort of card.

Can anyone shed any light how exactly you go about buying a ticket and travelling further then 2 sectors?

I am almost certain I have missed something, but hopefully someone here can guide me in the right direction.

Cheers

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  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

You can buy a Singletrip Metroticket (as opposed to a Two Section Metroticket) which allows you unlimited transfers to other train, tram or bus services for two hours - the full fare is $5.00 (called "All Times") or $3.10 ("Interpeak" between 9am-3pm on weekdays, all day on Sundays and public holidays).

Trains and trams have ticket machines on board which sell Singletrip, two section and daytrip tickets (unlimited transfers until last service) and take coins or VISA/MasterCard/EFTPOS cards, while bus drivers sell these on request and will give change for small value notes.

There is also the Metrocard system which uses a smart card with a money balance. When you board a vehicle or enter the platform area at Adelaide Station, the price of a Metrocard fare is deducted from your card's balance and then you get two hours of unlimited transfers. The All Times fare is $3.29 and the Interpeak fare is $1.80, which works out to about a 30-35% discount compared to buying Singletrips. When your balance runs out (it is displayed on the validator screen every time you touch on) you can 'recharge' it at a train vending machine, at the large vending machines at Adelaide Station (these take notes as well as coins or cards), at third party retail outlets (a list and map is online) or with your VISA/MasterCard credit card on the Adelaide Metro website.

You can also purchase a 28 day pass for your Metrocard which gives unlimited travel for four weeks making for a further 13% saving if you use the system for 20 return trips (i.e. every working day).

Bikes may be carried on all train services, and on buses or trams at the discretion of the driver (bus) or conductor (tram). On weekends, public holidays and weekday off-peak times (9am to 3pm and from 6pm to last service) they are carried for free, in weekday peak periods (first service to 9am, 3pm to 6pm) an extra Concession fare must be purchased for the bike, which can be in the form of either a Singletrip or a Metrocard.

When you make a transfer, you must validate your Metroticket/Metrocard - this is used to gather statistics on which services are being used.

The time at which you start your trip's first boarding determines whether the trip is valid as an All Times or Interpeak trip. If you board a train at 8:59am and validate immediately, then proceed to transfer to a number of other services, you will be charged the All Times rate of $5.00/$3.29. Similarly, if you board at 2:59pm and validate immediately, you can transfer onto other services right up to 4:59pm and still be charged for only the one Interpeak fare. If your two hour validity expires while you are on board, you do not have to re-validate to finish the trip.

There is no refund or compensation scheme for delayed trips outside the official margin allowed (5min for buses, 6min for trains and trams), despite the introduction of Metrocard and GPS tracking of all services potentially allowing automatic refunds to be issued to everyone who validated a Metrocard on the service which was delayed.

All the fares I've quoted are the full fares, if you have a valid concession card (e.g. full time student, DVA pension card etc) then the fares applicable are discounted by roughly half. If you do not have your concession card with you on the day and ready to  be inspected by an authorised officer, you must buy a regular fare instead of the concession fare.

Seniors Card holders have their Metrocard integrated into their Seniors Card, this allows them to enjoy concession fares in peak periods and free travel in off-peak periods (all Interpeak valid times plus Saturdays and weekdays after 7pm). This is not a targeted concession which is dependent on being the recipient of welfare payments such as the aged pension, it is a government subsidy originally brought in to win the Grey Vote at the 2006 State Election.
  nm39 Chief Commissioner

Location: By a road taking pictures
I have moved to Adelaide recently, and managed to get pretty confused about how your ticketing system works for the train.
Looking at the website, and the way I read it I can only buy a ticket 2 sections at a time, and you cannot buy tickets at the station you need to get some sort of card.

Can anyone shed any light how exactly you go about buying a ticket and travelling further then 2 sectors?

I am almost certain I have missed something, but hopefully someone here can guide me in the right direction.

Cheers
seb2351

Firstly, the two sections refers to bus and tram travel. It is two train stations. A single trip ticket will buy you unlimited travel on the metropolitan transport system for two hours between first and last boarding. Single trip tickets and two section/station tickets are available on the vehicle from a vending machine on rail (tram and train) or from the driver of a bus.

Secondly, if you are planning a few days of Adelaide Metro travel, there are 3 consecutive day unlimited travel tickets for $25.

If you are planning to stay longer it would probably be wiser to buy a smart card for $5 and charge it with credit.

If you hold a South Australian Senior's card, this can be charged with credit also.

I hope I have cleared it up a little. If I have anything wrong then someone will point it out fairly quickly.
  seb2351 Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Thanks guys! It is very much appreciated!
  SAR526 Chief Train Controller

Location: Adelaide, South Australia.
.... When you board a vehicle or enter the platform area at Adelaide Station, the price of a Metrocard fare is deducted from your card's balance and then you get two hours of unlimited transfers.........
justapassenger

Is this right JaP? I have always understood that the application of the card at the Adelaide Station gates merely allows entry to the platform, and that the validation for two hours commences when the card is touched to a validator on the train.

As a considerable wait on the platform before the train leaves could make serious inroads into the time available for unlimited interchange journeys. I always validate as the train begins to move from the platform. That way I am getting maximum value for my fare and am being honest at the same time. All that said, you did a very good job of explaining what at first seems to be a complicated system which, with any faults it may have, is infinitely superior to Melbourne's Myki disaster.
  DrJames Junior Train Controller

Location: Adelaide, SA
Is this right JaP? I have always understood that the application of the card at the Adelaide Station gates merely allows entry to the platform, and that the validation for two hours commences when the card is touched to a validator on the train.

As a considerable wait on the platform before the train leaves could make serious inroads into the time available for unlimited interchange journeys. I always validate as the train begins to move from the platform. That way I am getting maximum value for my fare and am being honest at the same time. All that said, you did a very good job of explaining what at first seems to be a complicated system which, with any faults it may have, is infinitely superior to Melbourne's Myki disaster.
SAR526

I haven't been a regular train user since before the noarlunga line closure, but prior to that, yes the fare was deducted upon entry to the platform.  I never used to bother with the on train validation after validating to enter the platform, since the money has already been deducted the only purpose it serves is for AdMet to know my travelling habits!
  witsend Chief Commissioner

Location: Front RH Seat of a School Bus
Watch the read out as you enter the station.... It will debit your balance if it is your first sign on, just as if you signed on train Smile
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

Is this right JaP? I have always understood that the application of the card at the Adelaide Station gates merely allows entry to the platform, and that the validation for two hours commences when the card is touched to a validator on the train.

As a considerable wait on the platform before the train leaves could make serious inroads into the time available for unlimited interchange journeys. I always validate as the train begins to move from the platform. That way I am getting maximum value for my fare and am being honest at the same time. All that said, you did a very good job of explaining what at first seems to be a complicated system which, with any faults it may have, is infinitely superior to Melbourne's Myki disaster.
"SAR526"
Yes, I can confirm the barriers at Adelaide do validate a Metrocard and charge the fare - otherwise outbound trains without inspectors would still be free trains like they were with the old turnstiles.

This is openly explained on the Adelaide Metro website, but it's also something that you can see for yourself by simply making note of the displays on the barrier and train validators next time you start a journey in the city - you can hold the card there to keep the details on the screen longer. Next time you start a trip at Adelaide Station, you'll see that the barrier validator will show FARE $1.23 (first line) BALANCE $45.67 (second line) and then the validator on the train will show TRANSFER (first line) BALANCE $45.67 (second line). You can also prove it by not validating on the train (as I did once when the train validators were not working) and then transferring to a bus, tram or inbound train service - you'll get a TRANSFER message instead of a new fare.

I have a suspicion (which DPTI will obviously not confirm even if served with a FOI demand which in corrupt SA isn't worth the paper it's printed on) that trips starting at Adelaide Station may actually have a slightly longer validity to account for this now. This is based purely on one time when I used a bus to start a new trip later on, expecting to pay a new fare as I was getting on at 2:04 after the outbound train's departure (and therefore about ~2:07 after entering the platforms) but surprisingly still getting a TRANSFER message as if it was within the two hours.

Is it really a big deal though? The spirit of the rules with the two hour limit is to allow a journey of any length (almost any length at least - Sellicks Beach to some places on a weekend would probably require two trips) to be completed using one fare, and any reasonable journey starting at Adelaide Station (i.e. not cross-town journeys or an enthusiast's joyride) should still be possible even if you've lost a few minutes between entering the platforms and the train departing.

It's a little different for leaving the station, there's a grace period of about half an hour (according to a PSA I spoke with) for passengers who validated on the inbound train service they were transferring to. Sure, there are train trips longer than half an hour - but if you're travelling for ~40 minutes after a two hour ticket expired it's probably fair that you pay a new fare for what is obviously a new journey.
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

I never used to bother with the on train validation after validating to enter the platform, since the money has already been deducted the only purpose it serves is for AdMet to know my travelling habits!
"DrJames"
WRONG!!

As well as being a breach of the conditions of travel - for which you could have an expiation notice written up by a revenue inspector if you gave them attitude and they consequently didn't feel like cutting you the slack of letting you validate late - the number of validations is how patronage is counted. You would only be cheating yourself and your fellow passengers of funding for rail operations and adequate capacity on the services you frequent.

The privacy statement on the Metrocard account website states very clearly that validation data is only gathered for auditing purposes and to allow you to obtain a record of your travel.
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
Also whatever type of ticket or card you have if using a concession one make sure to carry your concession card with you at all times while travelling, there is no excuse now for not producing this if you are in possession of a concession ticket or card.

The metro card is the best method ,get it, put some money on it to start with and just validate it at any validator to go where you like. Metro cards are available also over the counter at the Adelaide Railway station office in the platform area or at the office on the corner of King William and Currie Street. I put about $100 or so on it and just go, when it gets down again go into the office at Adelaide railway station or the other one or use one of the other methods as above and recharge the card you can recharge any amount you like up too and including $200. Then you should have no problems at all really!

Oh and on a validator on a train, tram or bus if the red light comes on your ticket or card has not been validated so you will either have to purchase a ticket or top your card up. If the green light comes on all is well just sit down and enjoy the trip. Above all if you run into difficulties with either of them ask a staff member for help about it! This saves getting a whopping fine or something. On trains and trams you can top your ticket up on the ticket machine but these machines take only coins or credit cards. On buses you cannot top up your card though!

One other minor little problem with card tickets and the validators the tickets will only validate one way. So the black strip has to face you and the arrow on the front has to point down any other way you put the ticket in will only make the red light come on and not validate the ticket.

You will not use up any more trips validating at the barriers at Adelaide station all your ticket or card does is open the gate so you can get through. If you have not validated your ticket on the train the gate will not unlock and then you have a please explain situation. Dont crumple your ticket up either you need it to either travel further by bus or train etc or to get out or in at Adelaide station to the platforms! Crumpling it or folding it will invalidate it!
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Bending your ticket doesn't invalidate it. I have been let out of the ARS dozens of times with bent tickets. If it doesn't work at the gate the PSA staff let you through, no questions, no answers, just show them the ticket.

I can also confirm that DPTI/AdMetro have exactly zero give a smeg score for where individuals travel on their metrocards, they look at bulk validations only.
  SAR526 Chief Train Controller

Location: Adelaide, South Australia.
Yes, I can confirm the barriers at Adelaide do validate a Metrocard and charge the fare - otherwise outbound trains without inspectors would still be free trains like they were with the old turnstiles................
justapassenger

Thanks for putting me right. Probably because I have used the access gate past the ticket inspectors since one bung knee has forced me to use a scooter, I haven't used the turnstile gates for some years now. Now I know why the long seats on the concourse are heavily used. During the day, ten or fifteen minutes spent waiting on the platform for an initial departure can be an unnecessary expense.

I seem to remember that those high backed slatted wooden seats were once in the magnificent domed main waiting room, now sadly part of the Casino, though anti-gambling people like me can, I believe, still make a brief visit to the once public space which was used for the Cairo Hotel ballroom scene in 'Gallipoli'. Many visitors to Adelaide miss seeing it and don't realise what a magnificent city terminal the building once was. However I do like the terrazzo floor, anti draught automatic doors at each end of the concourse, the escalators and lift, and the greatly improved toilets now provided.
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

Just out of curiosity, how often do the inspectors at the wide gate check your card and validate it for you? About half the time I go there with my bike (whether on the way in or out) they just wave me through without checking anything, which would make it a free railway for less honest people - and even if revenue do come on board they can just do the "validate as it departs" routine.

When I was using the trains more regularly prior to the first Belair shutdown and before the new gates which validate, if the train was late departing I would wait an equal amount of time after departure before validating - to make sure my validity was extended to cover a later bus if necessary due to the train's delay.

I would think the main reason for people using the concourse seating is actually the deafening noise of all the DEMU engines roaring away when waiting on the platforms, the majority of people couldn't care less about losing a few minutes of their ticket validity which they are highly unlikely to need for an outbound journey originating in the city. The concerns of a few joyriding rail enthusiasts who will want to milk out every last minute of their two hours are quite rightfully low on the agenda of priorities for the public transport system.
  SAR526 Chief Train Controller

Location: Adelaide, South Australia.
Just out of curiosity, how often do the inspectors at the wide gate check your card and validate it for you? .......
justapassenger

Rarely. I have my wallet out as I drive through. It has an external transparent card holder with my Seniors Card on display, and in most cases I travel within the free times allowed. I always validate whether I have to pay or not, and I think that they get to know those of us who use scooters. In any case, the very act of passing them, unless he has been stopped at the normal exit gates, indicates that a passenger is not concerned about being caught free-loading and risking a very heavy fine.

Train only passenger journeys allow plenty of leeway for delays and waiting for the next train to depart but, where a change of vehicles is necessary, every minute is valuable to save having to pay two fares for one extended journey. While fares in Adelaide are very reasonable compared with those elsewhere, people with low incomes (including many working poor) need to save as much as possible.
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
If you mutilate your ticket in anyway it is deemed to be invalid especially if it cannot be passed through a portable reader.  I have witnessed on several occasions a ticket inspector telling someone to buy a new ticket simply because the one they had would not read properly in the reader due to it being mutilated. You can still be fined if you happen to do it. The rules just state without a valid ticket and if the reader rejects it because it cannot be read the ticket due to it being mutilated or bent, then you ticket is invalid!
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
If you mutilate your ticket in anyway it is deemed to be invalid especially if it cannot be passed through a portable reader.  I have witnessed on several occasions a ticket inspector telling someone to buy a new ticket simply because the one they had would not read properly in the reader due to it being mutilated. You can still be fined if you happen to do it. The rules just state without a valid ticket and if the reader rejects it because it cannot be read the ticket due to it being mutilated or bent, then you ticket is invalid!
"David Peters"
Smeg, but what definition for bending equate to mutilation?

Mutilation: (OED) The infliction of serious damage on something.
(Mariam Webster): to cause severe damage to (the body of a person or animal)
: to ruin the beauty of (something) : to severely damage or spoil (something)


- I actually believe all the above to be incomplete, and the definitions should actually make reference to some level of cutting. As in 'mutilō', well at least that's why education in Latin tells me anyway. In any case

Bend: (OED) shape or force (something straight) into a curve or angle.

The reasons bending your ticket does not make it invalid is that (a) seldom does this affect the magnetic strip, magnetic strips are remarkably robust, the strip is generally faulty from manufacture or subjected to some other EM related field that causes corruption of the data and (b) even if the strip is deactivated, there is the physical print on the ticket which is generally all the inspectors at the ARS gate look at anyway. Few of the gate attendants carry the portable validation checkers, they simply don't need them. Then there's (c) as per definitions, bending does not equate to mutliation.
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
In this case Mr Lawyer bending means to put a crease in it either lengthways down it buy creasing it in half along the actual black strip or across it either way will effectively negate the ticket. So it has a permanent crease or bend in it. It will negate the info on the strip on the back doing this! If it cannot be put through the reader then you cannot expect to get through the gate at Adelaide unless you do present the ticket to a PSA providing it is still readable that is. I know several PSA's and they have said people do some stupid things with a perfectly good ticket to start with, but later it is useless because they have bent it several times or something else. Not everyone reads a paper or book so they fidget and the poor ticket is usually what gets mangled in the process!

The word mutilate by the way is what Adelaide Metro use as a definition of damage to a ticket it is there if you want to check it out!
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
In this case Mr Lawyer bending means to put a crease in it either lengthways down it buy creasing it in half along the actual black strip or across it either way will effectively negate the ticket. So it has a permanent crease or bend in it. It will negate the info on the strip on the back doing this! If it cannot be put through the reader then you cannot expect to get through the gate at Adelaide unless you do present the ticket to a PSA providing it is still readable that is. I know several PSA's and they have said people do some stupid things with a perfectly good ticket to start with, but later it is useless because they have bent it several times or something else. Not everyone reads a paper or book so they fidget and the poor ticket is usually what gets mangled in the process!

The word mutilate by the way is what Adelaide Metro use as a definition of damage to a ticket it is there if you want to check it out!
"David Peters"
I know that AdMet make reference to the mutilation invalidating a ticket, but folding it is not what mutilation implies, nor is it what they are meaning. They mean if you obliterate the text such that it cannot be read, then the ticket is invalid, the magnetic strip is not of prime importance. I don't need my lawyer cap (just my electronic engineering one) to tell you that approx 30% of magnetic tickets (and credit cards for that matter) are faulty ex OEM. A non functioning mag strip does not make for an invalid ticket.
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
I challenge you, lodge an FOI if necessary, supply us with the name of a person successfully prosecuted for having a ticket with a faulty magnetic strip still with legible printing on it. You couldn't do it.
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

Were a person to be successfully prosecuted for having a faulty magnetic strip, they should be able to sue DPTI for all the costs associated with the court case and any fine. The Australian Consumer Law requires that products be "safe, durable, free from defects, fit for purpose, acceptable in appearance, match its description and match any sample or demonstration model" which would clearly exclude a Metroticket with a dead magnetic strip.
  1S47 Assistant Commissioner

Location: On the Down Fast
Back to the OP's question about 2-Section tickets, I've often wondered how smart the Adelaide Station gateline is in accepting / rejecting 2-Section MetroCards and paper tickets.

You can use a 2-Section fare to travel one or two stations on the route map, so can legitimately board at, say, Croydon or Showgrounds and travel to Adelaide. Would the reader on the exit gate know you had validated at one of the "accepted" stations, and would it reject if you were trying to travel from the outer suburbs?

(Edit)  Re-reading this post, I hope it doesn't get jumped on by a Moderator.  It's intended as a question on how the ticketing system works, not looking for advice on fare evasion!
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Back to the OP's question about 2-Section tickets, I've often wondered how smart the Adelaide Station gateline is in accepting / rejecting 2-Section MetroCards and paper tickets.

You can use a 2-Section fare to travel one or two stations on the route map, so can legitimately board at, say, Croydon or Showgrounds and travel to Adelaide. Would the reader on the exit gate know you had validated at one of the "accepted" stations, and would it reject if you were trying to travel from the outer suburbs?

(Edit)  Re-reading this post, I hope it doesn't get jumped on by a Moderator.  It's intended as a question on how the ticketing system works, not looking for advice on fare evasion!
"1S47"
A two section paper ticket validated too early for ARS is bounced at the gate, a two section metrocard is revalidated at the gate if the preceding validation was too early.
  witsend Chief Commissioner

Location: Front RH Seat of a School Bus
Secondly, if you are planning a few days of Adelaide Metro travel, there are 3 consecutive day unlimited travel tickets for $25.

If you are planning to stay longer it would probably be wiser to buy a smart card for $5 and charge it with credit.
nm3

The visitors card can actually hold value, and can be recharged and be treated like a normal metrocard after the 3 consecutive days have expired, thus purchasing a whole new card will not be required, unless you have a valid SA concession (which then you wouln't consider the visitors card in most instances).
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

The visitors card can actually hold value, and can be recharged and be treated like a normal metrocard after the 3 consecutive days have expired, thus purchasing a whole new card will not be required, unless you have a valid SA concession (which then you wouln't consider the visitors card in most instances).
"witsend"
And it's not restricted to visitors either, anyone wanting three days of unlimited travel can purchase one at any time.
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
All the gates at Adelaide do is check whether a ticket is valid or not that is does it still have time left on it. It does not matter where it is validated just as long as it is validated. You often  see a rush on the Outer Harbor line to validate tickets and cards at Bowden before getting to Adelaide simply to get out of the barriers without any problems.

I have gone into the platform area and had to come back out again to buy something straight away almost and the gates simply will not unlock unless the ticket is valid in my case it was not, it will get you in alright, but will not let you get out without travelling on a train and validating it. I had to show the PSA to get out to buy what I wanted and then return to the platform area. You also  could not do a round trip on the same railcar like up to Belair and come back on the same car, it would not then accept the ticket. This was for the old validators though, I have not tried this with the new yellow ones yet. To over come it simply sit in the other car if there is one or explain to the PSA and let him work it out. The system is not or was not set up to do these type of round trips. It might be now though!

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