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Myki for Dummies

Home > Melbourne > Outdoor | Misc | Free | Travel
by Joy (subscribe)
“Creativity Is Intelligence Having Fun.” – Albert Einstein
Published June 3rd 2012
Update March 19th 2013
Please note that the Early Bird option can now be accessed if you are travelling before 7:00 am on a weekday when you touch on and off.

Welcome to the delightful world of Myki! If you have been bamboozled by the Myki ticket machines springing up at the various train stations, fumbling with your new Myki card and scratching your head wondering what on earth Myki is, then this article is for you.

Myki can be categorised into the following categories:-

1. Myki money – Myki money is the money that you load into your shiny Myki card. Simply top up your myki card with myki money and you are supposed to be paying the lowest fares as you touch on and touch off. With Myki money, you can travel in any zone (metropolitan and regional), at any time. Myki, by default, charges the lowest fare for the relevant zone when you touch on and touch off. You can automatically receive concession and free travel entitlements as you touch on and off.

These include Early Bird free travel entitlements and seniors free weekend travel. Early Bird travel entitlement can be realised by touching on and touching off at the train stations before 7:15am on a weekday to automatically receive the free Early Bird fare. In other words, you get to enjoy free travel provided that you touch on and touch off by 7:15 am. You could also choose to set up auto top up arrangements which automatically tops up your Myki money balance from a nominated bank account. Moreover, on weekends and public holidays Myki users pay $3.30 per day for unrestricted travel throughout Zone 1 and Zone 2.

2. Myki pass – The Myki pass suits people who travel on a regular basis. For daily travel, Myki pass is more cost effective compared to Myki money. Just choose the zone you wish to travel to and the number of weeks, this includes 365 day pass. You will notice that purchasing for a large number of weeks significantly lowers the weekly fares. Do bear in mind that in order to use a Myki pass, it is essential to have a positive myki money balance.

Here it is worth noting that you can actually choose to top up as little as $1 as Myki money balance to enable you to use Myki pass. A Myki pass allows unlimited travel on the nominated zones for the duration of the pass. The Myki pass is activated the first time you touch on the Myki card and expires upon the completion of the duration of the pass regardless of how much travel you have done on the pass. It is important to remember that a Myki pass cannot be suspended . If required to travel to a different zone, you will need to top up your card with Myki money balance to pay the fare for the different zone. Simply ensure that you have activated your Myki pass within 12 months from the date of top up and you are all set to go.

3. Myki for visitors – Soon visitors to Melbourne will be able to purchase Myki Visitor Packs for travel throughout their stay in Melbourne. The Myki Visitor Pack includes a a Myki smartcard preloaded with one day's Zone 1 travel, instructions on using Myki, an inner Melbourne tram map, a Myki protective wallet and discounts at 15 attractions across the Melbourne city. Full fare Myki Visitor Pack costs $14 including $8 Myki money. Concession, child and seniors Myki Visitor Packs are also available.

4. Free myki – Under Metro train's Franchise Agreement with the Victorian Government, Metro is obligated to provide free daily Myki money to patrons. If in any given month Metro train falls behind their service delivery target of 98 per cent or doesn't meet their on-time performance target of 88 per cent. Metro is required to give out these free travels as compensation for their poor performance. However, to be eligible for these offers you would need to be a monthly, six-monthly or yearly Myki pass holder. Hence, don't forget to keep an eye out for performance announcements on Metro website or notification boards in your local train station.

As a sidenote, while buying Myki money or Myki pass be mindful of the fact it is very difficult to get a refund for Myki if you subsequently change your mind. Speaking from personal experience, Myki does not have any suitable refund process in place making it quite time-consuming and infeasible to get a refund.

In conclusion, Myki is going to completely take over Metcard in the year 2012. Myki is here to stay, therefore it is important to comprehend and adopt Myki sooner rather than later. Educate yourself about Myki and then learn to use it to your advantage. Be smart and save money!
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Why? Travel around Melbourne
When: Anytime of the year
Where: In and around Melbourne
Cost: Varies
Your Comment
Really helpful article - thanks!
by Julie Mundy (score: 3|1734) 2789 days ago
Well-written and informative. Oh, and congrats on being included in the State Library of Victoria collection :)
by Sue Stevenson (score: 2|569) 2506 days ago
thank you. it was my far more insightful than the pdfs availlable on the official website <_<
by se (score: 0|6) 2573 days ago
im with sara catching public transport is a rare occurance, what happens at 10pm when a necessity occurs that i have to catch it and am located nowhere near a shop selling them? a ridiculous system for someone who just wants to jump on a tram! they should of spent the money investing in jobs and conductors! Victoria going backwards with automation and no service!
by kitt- (score: 0|4) 2788 days ago
where do you have to go to purchase one and what documentation/id is required?
by suzab (score: 0|4) 2788 days ago
Please note that the Early Bird option can now be accessed if you are travelling before 7:00 am on a weekday when you touch on and off.
by Joy (score: 3|1910) 2502 days ago
Thanks. The issue is for people like me who use public transport rarely .. maybe 4 or 5 times a year. And maybe one of those times my husband travels too. I used to buy two ten-trip Metcards and they lived in my wallet so they were always to hand .. I could use either of them myself, and if my husband travelled too then he could use the one I wasn't. Now I'm meant to buy a myki, not keep it in my wallet because the other cards with magnetic strips will corrupt it so I need to find somewhere to keep the myki where I won't lose itand will remember to pick it up before I decide to jump on a tram, and we have to have one each for that one time in the year when we travel together so we both need to register .... What happens if my husband drops me off in the city and I want to catch a tram home and then realise I haven't picked up my myki? In a busy life with so many other things to do and remember, you just have to say it's not worth it. So, in short, I've just decided not to bother and will drive and just pay for parking instead. And I live two minutes from a tram stop! Whilst CBD parking is expensive, it's cheaper in both money terms and convenience than mucking about with a myki. I think they've come up with a system that works for commuters and regular users, the tourist option is a cobbled together afterthought, and there's no option for folk like me who travel rarely. Sadly.
by sara. (score: 0|3) 2788 days ago
Still hate myki but an informative article.
by melis154 (score: 0|3) 2788 days ago
Thanks Myki people.
On two occasions my coins were snaffled by the machine without crediting my account.
On the credid side Myki was quick to rectify.
Buses seem to often have faulty scanners.
by murch (score: 0|2) 2501 days ago
good write up- but perhaps you can explain that International students and students from other states are not eligible for concession cards?
by newintstudents (score: 2|474) 2489 days ago
How does my elderly father handle it. He visits from the country twice a year, stops with me in Yarrambat and catches the bus at my front door then a train to get to the city (and return) once each visit. Can he get direct on the bus from rural Yarrambat withourt me first having to drive him somewhere to purchase a myki ? Does he have to 'stock' it with credit, if yes, how doe he do this considering he has neither a computer or a credit card? How does he get a refund for unused credit after each visit? I also go to the city by the same means twice a year and currently simply get on the bus at the front door and purchase a daily return ticket from the bus driver, I gather now that I will have to have a myki card with prepaid balance for my two trips on 'public' transport per year. What a most unfriendly system for casual users. Good luck to this stupid myki system trying to get us casual users to maintain our patronage. The transport system is supposed to be a 'public' transport system, ie , not just designed for the regular city commuter. Car for me from now on.
by dcb (score: 0|4) 2784 days ago
Thanks for article - I catch the tram every day and hear people talking all the time trying to figure out whether they are supposed to tag off etc. My biggest beefs: it takes more than 24 hours for new credit to appear on your card, there are very few places to charge your card along tram lines, there is no way of paying by credit card or notes on tram lines if you're waiting for your credit to appear and don't have change. The lack of options for actually paying for your ticket seems pretty short sighted for a brand new system.

Having said that - I LOVE living in city where I can get just about anywhere I want using public transport. Try getting around in Perth without a car!
by rebec176 (score: 0|2) 2787 days ago
I'm sure it's fine for regular travellers, but for someone like myself who rarely uses public transport it's an absolute pain in the rear.

So I decide I want to go somewhere...have to top up the card and wait 24 hours, or take a punt there is enough on it - then find out there isn't and I have to find a kiosk, or it's expired, and I have to find a kiosk.

And when it does expire I lose the money.

Most other countries cities with similar schemes also allow debit card or cash as well. Very annoying.
by mark- (score: 0|2) 736 days ago
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