A representative body for public transport users has dismissed a proposed change to pricing and ticketing for buses, trains and trams, saying it will create a more complicated system and counteractive system.
In a report on fixing congestion in Victoria's transport system, Infrastructure Victoria - an independent advisory board - proposed an overhaul of transport pricing, for roads, public transport and parking.
Infrastructure Victoria suggests a different cost for different modes of public transport, with a flagfall and a per-kilometre distance charge, as well as off-peak charges and concessions.
Instead of registration and TAC fees, drivers would instead face distance-based charges.
The organisation proposes equity measures could also be introduced, including discounts on distance charges past a $10 threshold, a cap for concession card holders and 20 free travel days per year.
Scroll down to see Infrastructure Victoria's full report
But Paul Westcott from the Public Transport Users Association said such a change to the current system was not the way to go for regional users.
"We currently have a multi-modal ticketing system where a person who catches a train to Melbourne gets their transport at either end included - for example a bus to Bendigo station at one end, and a Metro train at the other," Mr Westcott said.
"That type of integrated fare structure is a crucial way of ensuring we have an integrated transport network."
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He said the proposed system was similar to that of Sydney, which was recognised by transport experts to be the worst in the country.
"That system would not only be very complicated and confusing for casual users, it would create perverse incentives in the transport system, encouraging people to drive to their local station rather than taking the bus, and encourages 'gaming the system' like we see in Sydney," he said.
Mr Westcott said the current system with periodical tickets was the best way to reduce costs for regular users.
But he said fares were not the biggest problem for regional passengers; punctuality, reliability and capacity were more in need of improvement.
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