Concessions & Authorities

Page last modified/checked: Monday, 4 November 2002

This section reviews a mixture of free and reduced rate passes and concession entitlements. These were generally not the type of thing the average full fare paying commuter was likely to encounter. We do not have a complete explanation for everything described, but it is better to acknowledge the use of these items during the zonal system to give a fuller picture of that era.

Commonwealth Employment Service

These Edmondson card tickets had been introduced in the early 1970's and were widely used until 1988, when they were finally replaced.

This ticket was issued only by C.E.S. offices to people travelling to job interviews, appointments, etc. The date and the points between which travel was permitted were written in.

By-Laws Metropolitan Rail Blank

It is likely that these blank coupons were originally introduced in 1980 at the same time as a range of other blank utility cards were provided. The example shown here identifies zone boxes, so, is a later format modified for the zone system.

These were issued only by Railway Investigation Officers generally to passengers they found who had boarded where a booking office was closed or the station was permanently unmanned. It permitted travel between the stations written in, the recipient paid their fare at the destination and handed in the By-Laws blank. As the system was now multi-modal based, the ticket could also be exchanged for a Travelcard.

*NOTE: Our example typifies the appearance, but was issued during the period of the Neighbourhood system, as they remained in use for some time.

Ministry of Transport Concession Card

One of the initiatives of the Cain Labor Government was to extend concession travel entitlement to a wider range of the community. This form of concession card appears to be one of the first introduced.

These cards were available only to the unemployed for the purpose of obtaining concession travel and thus enhanced the opportunity of finding a job. The card was presented at a station along with a form supplied by the C.E.S. containing the applicants details. These were written in by staff, (removed from the example shown here) who also stamped the expiry date, which was also indicated on the form. Lastly, the holder had to sign the card in view of the staff member.

Victorian Public Transport Concession Card

To our knowledge, these cards were filled in and issued by the C.E.S. and had to be presented to obtain concession travel. We believe this card was issued to those on health care (eg disabled persons) or benefits payments (eg supporting parents).

It appears these cards existed for only a short time and were soon replaced by other means of identification?

Restricted Weekday Coupon

We are unsure when this coupon came into use but feel certain that it was provided, initially, for the benefit of the unemployed who could purchase a strip of 10 such coupons at a discounted rate. The coupon was interesting in that it could work two ways; on MMTB services, it was accepted and headed as the actual travel ticket (left). At rail stations, it acted as a voucher and had to be exchanged for the required rail single ticket (right).

These arrangements existed because the unemployed were not permitted to travel at concession fare during peak hours: the coupon at least offered some form of reduced rate during these "restricted weekday" times. From the 15th November 1982 pensioners and health care recipients could no longer purchase concession fare tickets prior to 9 a.m. weekdays. From this date, they too could obtain these coupons which were only available from the Tramways Concession office in the city. The cost for a strip of 10 was $3.00, or 20 at $6.00.

*Footnote: From the 1st February 1983, new legislation and penalties came into force for specific offences against Railway Acts or By-Laws. This included travelling without a valid ticket. This campaign may also have netted individuals who wrongfully purchased concession fare tickets, still an offence today. Prior to this, in late 1982, the Ministry of Transport had reviewed the procedures and authorities under which concession fare tickets could be obtained. Some of the items we have reviewed in this section are quite likely the results of that review.

Vicrail Employee Free Travel Authority

Prior to 1983, Victorian Railway employees were granted free travel "only between the station or location nearest to the place of residence and the station nearest to the employees place of duty". The authority to do so mainly took the form of a metal token. From 1983 employee free travel entitlements were greatly extended by the introduction of two new EFTA's. New employees during their first twelve months of service received a pass allowing unlimited train, tram and bus travel within the metropolitan zone system. The Vicrail logo and year of availability were printed in green. Existing employees received a similar pass but available on the entire country rail services as well. On the pass it will be seen that this was identified as "Inter Urban / Inter City", a fare structure which had also been introduced concurrently with the metropolitan zone system.

These passes remained valid until September 1986, when replaced by authorities that now incorporated the employees photograph.