I’m writing this from a new bedroom, in a new neighbourhood, with a new Macbook, in the company of a new teapot. Some things haven’t changed though — I still can’t manage to go to bed early.
Yesterday I had to buy a bus card for the first time, since I live much closer to uni now, and don’t need to catch the ferry anymore. Auckland Transport has been implementing new transport card systems, and it seems like they are trying to unify everything. But it’s still an absolute shambles. In all the other countries I’ve visited, if you qualify for a concession fare — student or otherwise — you show your ID card at the time of purchase, and will then be charged a reduced fare from that point onwards. However, Auckland Transport seems too incompetent to pull this off.
I know that some people cheat the system and try to get away with paying lower fares, but the level of student-ID-checking that’s going on is just ridiculous. I don’t know why they can’t just apply the discount from the point of purchase! Instead, I had to queue up to buy a card (have my student ID and sticker* checked), then queue up elsewhere to get hold of an application form (on which I filled in my student ID and sticker details), then queue up once again to hand in said form, THEN have my student ID and sticker checked yet again. Seriously — do they want students to take public transport or not?! This whole process wasted a lot of time, not to mention the inefficient chain of bureaucracy that this is, and the unnecessary number of people they had to employ in order to supervise this. I don’t understand why having person at the ticket booth checking people’s IDs and stickers does not suffice!
To make mattes worse, I came home to register my card online… only to discover that the $20 credit I had paid to be put on it isn’t there. Thank goodness I kept the receipt, but now I have to make yet another trip out of my way to Britomart (it’s a train station/transport hub) to sort this out. I hope whoever I have to deal with tomorrow is quick-witted enough to remedy this quickly, if at all.
So much for life being easier if I didn’t have to deal with the fiasco that ferrying has become.
*We have to go and get a new sticker either at the start of every year or semester, which verifies that we are enrolled in enough courses to qualify as a “full-time student”, in order to get a student discount on public transport.