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This week I renewed my annual Sydney public transport ticket. Because of where I live, I catch all three possible forms of government owned public transport – trains, buses and ferries (and the two private ones too – monorail and light rail, but that’s a story for another post).

Because Sydney’s public transport ticketing is very badly integrated, it doesn’t actually make sense for me to buy an annual ticket. It’s more cost effective to buy a combination of single ticket and Metro- and Ferry-Ten tickets. So I resisted it for years. Until last year I decided that I should think of it differently. If it was marketed as a gold pass for frequent travellers, enabling you to bypass the ticket queues, then I would probably have bought it years ago. So I pretended to myself that it was an exclusive ticket for frequent travellers, and I was quite happy paying an extra $80 a year for the privelege.

I am unusual in my comprehensive use of Sydney’s public transport system. But my experience does show that the pricing is unnecessarily complex and lacks integration.

And that a bit of marketing, even of Sydney’s creaky system, could be effective.