Periodical Tickets/Commuter Passes

Page last modified/checked: Friday, 20 May, 2005

In the lead up to the neighbourhood fare system, staff instructions and publicity material indicated that a new range of
"periodical tickets" would be provided in early 1984.

When these tickets first went on sale from 27th January (Monthlies), their appearance was quite unlike anything seen before, but they were certainly in character with the rest of the colourful neighbourhood tickets. The range consisted of four types of tickets and their rear colour coding was as follows: 1 Month - Green, 3 Monthly - Orange, 6 Monthly - Blue, 12 Monthly - Purple.
They were available as Full Fare tickets only, no concession issues were provided.

All periodical tickets ran for a fixed calendar period commencing on the first day of each month and expiring on the last day of each month. Periodical tickets could only be purchased from railway stations (and later through the Commuter Club). It was only the monthly ticket that was stocked and replenished as an ongoing issue. They were renewable up to three days in advance. The 3, 6 and 12 Monthly periodicals were obtained by filling in an application form which was then sent to ticket control. The form was of a quadplicate nature, with each page required for a different purpose. The ticket was paid for immediately and the customer received a pass known as an "Interim Card" (coloured gold) with a hand stamped expiry date of two weeks hence. This allowed immediate travel in all neighbourhoods and was ample to cover the three to four days it usually took for ticket control to process the order and send the ticket out to the requesting station. Customers were instructed to return to the booking office after this time with their page from the appplication form; the interim card being surrendered to obtain the periodical ticket. Their photocard (illustrated at bottom of this page) was also transferred to the new ticket.

It will be seen from the many illustrations that follow that the range of periodical tickets was extensive because they were supplied pre-printed for all 18 different neighbourhood combinations. In addition there was an anywhere ticket and an inner ticket - the inner neighbourhood was the only one to have its own individual periodical. This scenario becomes quite overwhelming, and very wasteful, when it is recognized that all these tickets were printed for four calender periods, 12 times per year, every year. There is little doubt that many of them never found a buyer.

Note that there were no passes supplied specifically for the Ringwood or Frankston neighbourhoods.
The adjoining neighbourhood combinations covered this requirement.

Commuter Passes

Concurrent with the 10th November 1985 fare increase, the periodical ticket range was re-launched as "Commuter Passes" and a brochure was provided to promote their new guise. With the 20th July 1986 fare rise, the 3- and 6-Monthly passes were abolished. A replacement brochure was again produced to promote the now diminished range. The last blow to the commuter passes came from 29 October 1988 when the 20 different monthly tickets were replaced by a standardised series of 5 tickets; 3 of these alone replacing 18 different passes. These new monthlies did not require photocards and could be purchased on any date.
They are detailed in a later section.

The original launch leaflet for the periodical tickets

The November 1985 renaming

Rationalised in July 1986

The August 1988 fare rise


A new feature arrived with the periodical passes: photocards. These were required to purchase any of the periodicals and slid in with them into a special elongated plastic wallet. Photocards could be obtained from all metropolitan railway stations, tram and bus depots and the MTA city concession office. Photocards included the holders name, address and a passport type photograph, and were valid for five years. They were supplied in bulk with running numbers. This number was recorded on the application form for 3, 6 and 12 Monthly tickets. It was also written into a box on the front of all periodicals such that matching numbers were displayed together on two separate items. This prevented periodical tickets from being used by persons other than to whom they were issued. A total of 56 of the busier stations were supplied with laminators and die cutters for the preparation of photocards. Smaller stations sent the customers details and photo to their nearest equipped location for return in 24 hours. All stations kept a book specifically for recording the details and photocard number of all those who purchased the 1 Monthly tickets and they also retained one of the duplicate pages of the application form for 3, 6 and 12 Monthly tickets. This process of record keeping was essential for customer refunds, duplicates, etc.

The completed ticket and photocard
in their plastic wallet.

Rear detail of photocard