Saturday, 20 October 2012

One about the Network Rider

In case you didn't know, South East Wales has it's own multi-operator ticket. It's called the Network Rider (or Network Dayrider with Cardiff Bus). Sadly, the mere fact that it doesn't have a universal name gives an indication as to its acceptance and availability.
In West Yorkshire, there is a MetroDay ticket, costing some £2.50 less than the South Wales equivalent. Not only is it cheaper, but it is universally accepted by all operators in the region (the asterisk merely says tickets for use on special event services). Weekly metrocards are available and, again unlike the Network Rider, monthly, quarterly and annual versions can be bought too.

Back to the Network Rider. Day tickets are accepted and issued by Edwards and Newport Bus, but not weekly tickets. Neither tickets are issued or accepted by First Cymru, Harris Coaches and Thomas of Rhondda. In other words, it's a bit of a hotchpotch of a ticket. Being a part of the scheme is entirely optional, which might explain this. 

In my opinion, it's time that the ticket was made compulsory for all operators in South Wales - those who refuse are not allowed to operate. They can sort out revenue distribution amongst themselves. It's also time that such tickets were available as monthly, quarterly etc. Sadly, the Welsh Assembly, SEWTA et al don't seem to have a joined up way of thinking about how to provide public transport effectively enough.
They should closely monitor the likes of the wymetro and see how others do it more effectively and cheaply.

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