Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Go Card - how to take advantage of the system

It has recently been published on Rail Back on Track's website, and a follow up article on Brisbane Times' website on how to legally take advantage of the flawed and extortionate go card system.

The published methods are as below:
  • The well known method of "abusing" the 9 journeys then free cap, by taking additional short (low cost) journeys early in the week, and then getting free longer distance journeys later in the week.
  • Taking advantage of the seniors 2 then free cap, by using a second go card to break up short distance journeys to allow for free longer distance journeys later in the day. This one is more for hardcore seniors. 
There is also another method:
  • If the gap between two rail journeys is one to two hours (e.g a return shopping trip) and the station does not have barriers, then "forget" to touch off at the end of the first trip. Remember to "touch off" and then "touch on" just before the second journey. This results in both journeys being charged one fare. The first "touch off", and second "touch on" must occur within 3.5 hours of the first "touch on". 
Is it ethically correct to be publishing these go card rorts? Most probably. Why?
  • The fare system is so badly designed (e.g 9 journeys then free instead of weekly/monthly periodicals) that it is just asking to be rorted.
  • The fares are so expensive (to the point of discouraging public transport use) and such poor value for money that any sensible person will try and legally take advantage of the system if they can.
  • TransLink's go card condition of use takes the piss, and can leave go card users in dubious legal situations through no fault of their own. 
  • TransLink must be making a lot of money from unclaimed go card fixed fares. 


  1. I also wonder if this is possible. Start journey at Ferny Grove, travel by train to Bowen Hills, do not touch off at BH, do your business, come back to catch train to Keperra, get off at Kep, touch off and then touch on, and then complete journey at FG.

    By the system that should be recorded as a one zone journey, but I am wondering if a transit officer comes past whilst you are going from BH to FG if their readers can tell what you are attempting to do and you would be fined for fare evasion?

    There are a few other rorts, but they are harder to explain than the above.

  2. Garvin - that would be illegal, as you are not paying for 1) the zones travelled in, and 2) touched on and off at the start and end of each trip. The third rort in the article performs both of these, just that the shopping is done during the outward journey ;-) .

  3. Here is some interesting information, what do you make of it BzC?

    Sydney is trialing a 'go card' style system, called opal card. Link:

    Might be time for a new fare comparison. I notice in the information provided they have a eight then free system as well, so more FBL allowed.

    They even say that travelling back and forth along the same line, as long as you go back within the 60 mins is ok, or use the way we know ;)

  4. I'm using a pensioner go card and normally if I do 2 (or more) trips each day mon-thurs, my first trip on friday morning (trip 9) will be $2 etc, then each after fri afternoon/sat/sun will be free. For some strange reason, Friday (today) my first trip was $0.00 ??
    How was i able to notch up 9 trips on four days when the limit is 2 trips/day?! odd.


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