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In a major embarrassment for Public Transport Minister Lynne Kosky, her decision to force seniors to buy Metcards in packs of five has been reversed in her absence.
It would have forced cash-strapped pensioners to pay $16.50 to buy seniors daily tickets instead of just $3.30.
The decision was made yesterday, while Ms Kosky was on leave, after questions about the decision from the Herald Sun.
Acting Public Transport Minister Tim Pallas last night confirmed the sudden about-face.
Spokeswoman Fiona Macrae said the Government recognised the impost that making a larger purchase less often might have on some seniors, particularly those on low incomes.
As a result, seniors will continue to be able to buy the seniors daily from trams, trains and buses but will also be able to get the five-pack.
Ms Kosky made the original decision in early August, but it was not announced until Friday afternoon while she was on leave.
That press release told seniors they would still be able to use standard concession tickets, which are mostly more expensive than $3.30.
The decision provoked outrage from pensioners, including Shirley Grant, who led the topless pensioner protest outside Flinders St station in May.
She branded the decision crazy and urged Ms Kosky to reverse the decision.
"If she thinks a pensioner can afford that, she's nuts," Mrs Grant said.
Angry seniors wrote to the Herald Sun complaining about the decision.
John Green, from Rowville, wrote: "Who in their right mind other than a highly paid bureaucrat or parliamentarian would decide something like this?
"Most seniors (and) pensioners struggle to find the money to pay for everyday items, much less paying this amount in advance for trips they may not take."
Other changes announced last Friday stand, such as the dumping of single city-saver tickets.
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