This isn't a proper Walrus card, I hasten to add. It might have Walrus written on it but that doesn't mean a thing. That scheme - to introduce a Merseyside version of the Oyster card - was announced to great fanfare in 2011. Season ticket holders would be using it by the end of 2012, with pay as you go in 2013. It's nearly 2015 and it hasn't happened so don't mention it. Just pretend no-one said anything. Ignore that Greater Manchester and South Yorkshire and Tyne & Wear are all rolling out their own smart cards.
I was going to write about how the new Saveaways are not able to be pre-loaded with cash, like a pay as you go Oyster. I was going to write how, if you have a Smart Saveaway, you have to take your card to a shop and ask them to put a day's travel on it. I was going to point out that I could do that right now, if I wanted to buy a paper one, and so the fact that it's got a magnetic strip means nothing to me.
I could have written about how you can't buy a Smart Saveaway over the internet, or how you can't top it up online, or using a ticket machine in a bus or rail station. About how you can't buy one in advance, like you can with a scratch-off Saveaway, so that you can have a spontaneous day out if the mood takes you. About how my nearest Pay Point is actually in the opposite direction to my nearest bus stop. About how there will be a £1 charge for registering it after the 1st of April.
There's probably a lengthy and detailed blog post to be written about how Merseyrail will not be issuing or crediting Smart Saveaways, and will instead stick to the paper version. I could probably get quite a lot of humour about the fact that Merseyrail ticket inspectors will have no technology to check if your Smart Saveaway is actually valid, so, in the words of the website:
In other words, to make sure you don't get fined for not having a ticket, carry a piece of paper with your paperless ticket at all times. Unless there's a station with ticket gates. There's a whole eight of those on the Merseyrail network (assuming that the one in Chester accepts this smartcard, which isn't guaranteed as it's outside the County line).
And I could probably get a bit of wry fun out of the fact that when they opened the new Ferry Terminal two years ago, it came with smartcard readers, but they won't be used in 2014. Instead you queue up, show your Smart Saveaway to a person at the ticket office, and they'll give you a boarding pass for the ferry. Saving you absolutely no time at all.
In short, I probably could have written a lengthy, extremely angry blog post about the Smart Saveaway being inconvenient, pathetic, ridiculous, customer-alienating, a blight upon Merseytravel, and a major cause for red faces among everyone at Mann Island. However, it's all just too bloody depressing, so I shan't bother.