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Author Topic: 1 Aug 2008: SEQ: Go card call for three month ?amnesty? for new go card users  (Read 3189 times)

Offline ozbob

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Media Release 1 August 2008

SEQ:  Go card  - call for three month ?amnesty? for new go card users

RAIL Back On Track (http://backontrack.org) a web based community support group for rail and public transport and an advocate for public transport commuters has called for a three month amnesty period  for refund of fines to be given to all new go card users whilst new users come to terms with using the go card.

Robert Dow, Spokesman for RAIL Back On Track said:

?New go card users are struggling at times to learn the use the go card without copping fines.?

?It would be a simple thing to give all new users a three month amnesty period for refunds of fines while they come to terms with using the go card.?

?This would help neutralise the very bad public image that the go card now has, and would encourage further go card uptake.?

?Something needs to be done urgently to change the present poor public perception of the go card and the problem of fines new users are getting.  The go card does have a learning curve and by offering an amnesty period it would be a sign of good faith all round.?

Contact:

Robert Dow
Administration
admin@backontrack.org

 
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Offline ozbob

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From Brisbanetimes click here!

End of the road for 10-trip saver

Quote
End of the road for 10-trip saver
Tony Moore | August 1, 2008 - 11:09AM

Bus, train and ferry commuters taking up the new transport go-card should be allowed a three-month amnesty from fines when 10-trip saver paper tickets are phased out this weekend, Shadow Transport Minister Tim Nicholls says.

People will no longer be able to buy 10-trip saver tickets from Sunday, but can use their tickets until they run out.

Mr Nicholls said the government and Translink should have realised the decision to scrap the paper 10-trip saver ticket would force more commuters across to the go card.

"Now that we have 10-trip saver tickets winding up, effectively on Sunday night for all intensive purposes, we are going to have many thousands of people move across to the go card," Mr Nicholls said.

"Many thousands of these people are now going to need time to get used to using it."

"There was an amnesty when the the go card was first introduced in March.

"We found that in that period there was quite a few situations were people were simply getting used to the system.

"Particularly the 'tag on' and 'tag off' operation - mostly the 'tag-off' situation," he said.

brisbanetimes.com.au this week revealed public transport users have either forgotten or failed to properly swipe their go cards at the end of their journeys 221,488 times since the card launched.

Mr Nicholls said a three-month amnesty period was an adequate time to allow the new card users to adapt.

The amnesty period was suggested by rail lobby group Rail: Back on Track this morning.

Spokesman Robert Dow said it was a simple thing for the government to introduce and would be a valuable "good faith" exercise for Translink.

"It would be a simple thing to give all new users a three-month amnesty period for refunds of fines while they come to terms with using the go card," Mr Dow said.

"This would help neutralise the very bad public image that the go card now has, and would encourage further go card uptake.

"The go card does have a learning curve and by offering an amnesty period it would be a sign of good faith all round."

Comment was being sought from Transport Minister John Mickel's office and Translink.
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Offline ozbob

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The letter below was published in the mX last week. It is typical of much of the feedback and comments made by other new users. Our suggestion of an amnesty for new users would avoid much of this negative feedback.  At the same time our suggestion for improved user education and refunds within a maximum of two working days must also be implemented forthwith or the go card is a duck in a drying desert pool.

Letter of the day
Brisbane mX  31st July 2008 page 11

Quote

Go card a lesson in finery

I too am a new user of the go card system, and so far I think this might be a scam. In three days it has cost me $15 in fines.

When I complained to TransLink, I was advised the refund request will take 10 days and that if the outsourced company that investigates the complaint refuses my request, I have no right of appeal.  I bet they are paid on the basis of how many refunds they reject.

They tell me it is user error, as if I don't know how to swipe a card?

They ask me if I swipe too quickly, as if there is some sign to say "swipe slowly".

They apologise for the fact that after stealing my weekly transport budget I have no legal means of transport.

Daniel (mX, Tue) is right.  The solution is small-time and half-baked.  And because this is public instead of private good customer relationship management doesn't exist.

If I, as a salesperson, promised a solution to a paying customer's problem and couldn't deliver, I would not be in business long.

I will be cancelling my go card and returning to weekly tickers. Discounting go card prices is a tricky way signing you up to a system that doesn't work and costs you more.

It is criminal.

-David, Riverhills.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2008, 09:53:21 AM by ozbob »
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Offline ozbob

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Just did a quick interview with Phil Smith on the 612 ABC Brisbane Breakfast show (Spencer Howson is having a few days off), where I was able to mention the need for an amnesty.

Thanks for the opportunity 612 ABC Brisbane!

Overall with the new fare in place I gave the go card a score of 8/10. 

The last remaining issues are to address off peak fares, provide weekly and or monthly capping and fix the remaining problems with the buses, expedite the refunds and all will be well!!

Lets GO!

 :-r
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Offline ozbob

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From Brisbanetimes click here!

Tough Translink offers no free ride

Quote
Tough Translink offers no free ride
Tony Moore | August 4, 2008 - 11:41AM

Translink has ruled out a temporary fine amnesty to help commuters adjust to the new transport go card, despite the death of the cheaper 10-trip saver paper tickets this morning.

Nor will it offer discounts to encourage people to use public transport to get to the Ekka, despite making public transport free to several major football games.

Last week both public transport lobby group Rail: Back on Track and the State Opposition called on Translink to introduce a three-month period where people were not charged a "nominal fee", if they did not "touch on" or "touch off" the electronic go card.

Translink said introducing an amnesty period would make it harder to teach people about the go card.

"The primary focus of TransLink's communications for go card is to reinforce the need to touch on and touch off," Translink spokesman Adam Nicholson said.

"We believe that a blanket amnesty would only serve to make it more difficult to bring about this behavioural change."

"TransLink staff have been talking to public transport users across South-East Queensland as part of this educational campaign and the feedback from these sessions is that the majority of public transport users are comfortable with the concept of touching on and touching off."

However statistics from Translink show differently.

Translink has approved 9,144 refund or fare adjustment requests since the end of January, 4000 of which were granted during a "no questions asked "two-month" introductory period.

Figures obtained by brisbanetimes.com.au show Translink granted another 5,109 refunds after the two-month amnesty ended, which is more than half of all those approved.

However, Translink again insisted earlier this morning that there was still no plans for a second amnesty period.

Translink said the penalties for people not "touching on" or "touching off" were kept low.

"A nominal fare is charged if a go card user does not touch on or off because the system does not have enough information to calculate the correct fare," a spokesperson said.

"This fixed amount has been set at a low level in recognition of the fact that go card users are still getting used to this new system.

"The nominal fare is currently $5 on rail and $3 for bus and ferry for adults, and $2.50 on rail and $1.50 for bus and ferry for concessions."

However Rail: Back on Track spokesperson Robert Dow and Shadow Transport minister Tim Nicholls have both argued for a three-month amnesty to restore public confidence in the go card system.

Meanwhile, Translink has also ruled out ticketing discounts to encourage people to use public transport to get to the Ekka, despite a plea from the RACQ this morning.

Translink said the event organiser, the RNA Association, had not made any agreement wih Translink to cover the cost of opening the Exhibition rail station within the Ekka ticket price.

However, RACQ spokesman John Wikman said people from outside Brisbane would find changes within the city difficult to get used to.

"Clearways operate as signed during the morning and afternoon rush-hours on major roads while single unbroken yellow lines near the kerb on any road means no stopping at anytime," Mr Wikman said.

Two-hour parking restrictions around the RNA grounds still apply, he said.

"The RNA grounds are within the central traffic area, so lengths of kerb space not otherwise metered or restricted by signs can pose a trap for drivers who overstay the two-hour parking limit that applies."

Disappointing responses from TTA to say the least.  I think we will see a lot more negative feedback as disgruntled users do their funds.
Similar to the correspondence recently in the mX. 

 >:(
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Offline Sunbus610

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This recent response re Brisbane Times story sure doesn't reflect TTA's current STRATEGIC PLAN or CUSTOMER SERVICE CHARTER too well I'm afraid :(.
Proud to be a Sunshine Coaster ..........

 

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