An introduction to this web site

Putting things in perspective

Page last modified/checked: Saturday, July 07, 2007
Basically, from 1977 a range of developments began to occur with Government operated, urban public transport ticketing methods around Australia. These ranged from the adoption of magnetic strip tickets and vending machines or validating machines through to full automatic fare collection. In most cases a specific means was developed for a particular mode. Melbourne was the last city to seriously join this trend, but all indications prior were that whatever course it took, the system would be common to and adopted for all metropolitan services. Melbourne had, however, been the clear Australian leader since 1981 in offering a unified ticketing system between all modes, both government AND private, with the three zone "Travelcard". This was further developed in 1983 with the complicated "Neighbourhood" fare system, returning once more to a simplified zonal arrangement in 1989. It was this latter fare structure that Metcard was placed over.

There is one thing that each of the developments in the other Australian cities all had in common and this is: there has never been a single reference point that anyone with a specific interest in them could access. Nothing has described in detail, continuity or illustrative form an ongoing account from their beginnings until now. In short, unfortunately, a great deal of detailed information has been lost over time or never recorded at all on these initial steps in new ticketing methods.

It is our intention with this website to try and not let such a loss occur again by recording the more compehensive details of the Metcard system based on the extent to which we can observe it from an unofficial viewpoint.

Piecing things together

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Click for 73k image

This collage all but represents the major, minor and some forgotten efforts by transport administrations in most of the larger Australian cities in adopting magnetic strip tickets, vending machines, validating procedures or a combination thereof. Each of the examples dates from the very beginnings of their period of use or at least represents their initial appearance. Destined for the hands of the public, of little appeal to collectors, or just in very restricted use; it is no wonder so few examples have survived...
...where are yours ??