1976 - Pass Master

Page last modified/checked: Saturday, 21 May, 2005
The low cost and convenience that this ticket offered was appreciated by children and pensioners, but probably little known to the tourist market, for whom the ticket was originally intended. These were given a low key introduction with the 4th July 1976 fare increase. However very few stations received printed stocks and of those that did, were limited to only 20 of each type. As a result, in the weeks following, it is believed that some stations issued utility blank tickets in lieu. These would have been a foreign sight to MMTB staff when presented! A direction was later issued that this practise cease and that Pass Masters were not to be issued until those stations had received printed supplies. This was duly fulfilled and the tickets formally "re-launched" on the 23rd September 1976. Pass Master was the first ticket to offer unlimited daily travel on all MMTB trams and buses and Victorian Railways services within 60km of Melbourne (including Healesville and Mornington).

The design depicted an "Hitachi" suburban train and a "Z" class tram, both of which entered sevice during the 1970's.

The initial pricing at $3.00 for adult and $1.50 for child/pensioner was a deterrent to sales, consequently during February 1977 with effective publicity, they were reduced to $2.00 and $1.00 respectively, now making them an atrractive proposition particularly to those people travelling from outer areas. At the time of the September 1979 price rise, they had crept up to $2.80 and $1.40 but the restriction of being able to purchase them only after 9.00am weekdays was lifted concurrently. The Adult issue was superceded by the new MetroCard series from 3rd August 1980, but the child and pensioner issue remained as there were no concession MetroCards. The Pass Master was an Edmondson card type ticket sold only from railway stations, but the issuing station name was not shown (apparently there were some printed with station names shown but we are yet to see one). Later it became a requirement to apply the issuing station stamp on the face of the ticket. The Pass Masters were available as Adult, Child or Concession issues, the latter term being used in lieu of the more common "Pensioner" description. The child and concession (pensioner) Pass Masters disappeared with the introduction of the zonal based fare system from the 4th October 1981.

Extract from the Addenda to the September 1979 Passenger Fares manual.

Promotional and point of sale material is also of interest. Shown here is a panel from a Ministry of Transport brochure, "Commuters Companion" from 1976. It advises of the new Passmaster at $3, possibly one of the few releases with this initial and unpopular price.

1969 to 1981
THE 1980