Public transport changes won't kill off travel cards
SENIORS that fear being left behind in a technological revolution of public transport can breathe a sigh of relief with several state providers confirming card-based travel will not be phased out in the new proposals.
Recent media reports rang the death knell for the likes of the Go Card (Brisbane), Opal card (Sydney) and Myki card (Melbourne) with state governments trialling bank cards and smartphone technology as an alternative option for commuters.
The news sparked a wave of concern amongst ageing advocates who believed scrapping the current system would be "inconceivable".
However, Queensland's TransLink, which runs the Go Card, and Transport for NSW have both rubbished the reports of the demise of their card-based systems.
A TransLink spokesperson told Seniors News that while contactless technology was being investigated, the Go Card was not going anywhere, while Transport for NSW said the Opal card would "remain the primary ticketing platform for public transport".
And that is music to the ears National Seniors Australia chief advocate Ian Henschke who described the earlier reports on the proposed changes as "completely unacceptable".
"I'm very pleased Go cards and others like them are not going to go. Even if the reports of their demise were fanciful it's a great win for common sense," Henschke told Seniors News.
"It shows the operators of public transport truly understand the wishes of their patrons.
"I think the most important thing for people, regardless of their ages, is that they have a system that they are comfortable with and they can use to get the concessions they are entitled to.
"There's would have no point changing something and then finding people rebelled against the change."
Despite assurances the card-based system would not be scrapped for the new technology, Henschke said he would still like to see a higher level of transparency in the decision-making process.
"I think it's very important the people running transport systems talk regularly to the people that use them and say 'what would you like and how do you find the existing system?'" he said.