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FIFTY million paper myki cards in storage will never be used, after the Baillieu government decision to dump all short-term tickets when the Metcard system is shut down.
The government has confirmed it owns the single-use paper tickets, which are on hundreds of pallets in warehouses in Altona and Rowville.
The tickets - designed as single-use myki fares for people who did not have a permanent plastic smartcard, and did not want to spend $10 buying one - have a microchip. Each ticket cost taxpayers 31¢, or about $15 million in total.
In June Premier Ted Baillieu - acting on advice in a report by consultants Deloitte that has been kept secret - said short-term tickets would be eliminated when Metcard was switched off. Myki and Metcard are now both valid for travel in Melbourne.
But at the end of next year permanent plastic myki cards, now used for a quarter of public transport trips in Melbourne, will become the only valid public transport ticket.
By following Deloitte's recommendation, the government's Transport Ticketing Authority has been left holding the 50 million tickets.
It had continued to stockpile the tickets until mid-2010, in preparation for Metcard to be switched off.
Some of the tickets - perhaps 200,000 of them a month according to an industry source - can be used aboard buses in six regional Victorian towns where myki is valid.
But the government plans to abolish short-term tickets even in these towns at the same time Metcard is switched off. It is likely the 50 million tickets in storage will ultimately be pulped.
Abolishing all single-use public transport tickets when myki replaces Metcard will leave tourists and occasional train, tram or bus users unable to travel unless they have a non-refundable $10 smartcard.
Melbourne will be one of the world's only cities where visitors and occasional users cannot buy a short-term ticket.
However, the decision to dump short-term tickets will help the government reduce myki's complexity and cut its operating cost.
''The decision to not have short-term tickets as part of the myki system is estimated to save in the order of $30 million dollars,'' Transport Ticketing Authority chief executive Bernie Carolan said.
The decision to scrap single-use tickets has also upended plans for myki vending machines on trams. This has left close to 500 vending machines, bought around 2008, also in storage, still in their crates.
Mr Carolan said the government was investigating whether the vending machines could now instead be installed at railway stations, on tram ''superstops'', or at busy bus interchanges.
News of the stockpiled tickets and vending machines comes as the Transport Ticketing Authority's chairwoman resigned.
Former Department of Human Services secretary Patricia Faulkner, appointed last March, will leave the authority's board this month.
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