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Should Melbourne Terminate MYKI & Return To Old Ticketing System?

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by Vanessa de Largie (subscribe)
Published September 14th 2013

Melbournian's waited patiently for years whilst this new and fancy transport smartcard was birthed - which they named MYKI.

MYKI arrived in the world on Tuesday, the 29th of December 2009, to a proud single parent - Public Transport Victoria.

Public Transport Victoria had high expectations of their beloved smartcard MYKI and assumed his creation would make travelling on public transport easier for Melbournians; they were greatly mistaken.

On the MYKI website, Public Transport Victoria promotes online top-up as the easiest and most convenient way to top up your MYKI smartcard yet according to recently revealed figures in Track Record, only 20% of Melbournians top up online with the majority choosing vending machines or newsagencies to add money to their smartcard. (The MYKI smartcard isn't very smart)

In recent weeks, I have been catching public transport daily. I am yet to catch a tram where people aren't complaining about MYKI. From what I've observed and experienced first hand, MYKI confuses people.

And why isn't there a MYKI top-up vending machine on trams and trains? Wouldn't that make sense?

As the 112 tram collects tired and weary workers along Brunswick St at 7pm on a weeknight, the majority of passengers' cards are declined. They all respond with the same dreaded, hopeless and fed-up look.

In my opinion, MYKI is an epic failure but I would be interested to hear what other Melbournians think.

Should Melbourne terminate Myki and return to the old ticketing system?

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After heading over to Melbourne from London for a holiday, I was looking forward to using what I thought was a reasonably priced and well thought out transport system. This was until I realised met-cards were replaced with MyKi. This of course means I have to pay for a MyKi card even though I won’t use it when I return to the UK.

I had followed the instruction in the MyKi leaflet and ‘tapped-in’ at Glenroy and ‘tapped-out’ at Spencer Street. So it should have charged us for Daily Zone-1 travel. When heading back home to Glenroy from Melbourne Central the barriers would not open up. After speaking to a staff member, we were told that we had not ‘tapped-out’ at Spencer Street (which is impossible as the barriers would not have opened up for us there to exit the station) and we had been charged for a Zone 1+2 ticket and left with negative balance on our MyKi cards. We were initially told to top up our MyKi cards, but after much argument we were finally allowed into the barriers.

This has put me off from using public transport in Melbourne. Here in London we have the option of buying an Oyster card (equivalent to MyKi) or a daily ticket (which is slightly more expensive than using an Oyster card). The ticket machines allow both to be used. I can’t understand why Melbourne did not adopt a similar system. 

It seems that if there is a problem with MyKi, the station staff will not take responsibility and tell you top-up again or phone up MyKi. If you don’t have an Australian SIM card on your mobile (like me) than it is an expensive option. If you somehow managed to board the train, than you may have to deal with ticket inspectors who are likely to give you a fine or become heavy handed if you protest, even though it is not your fault. In-fact the onus falls on you to prove you’re not at fault (which is usually quite difficult to do). Ultimately all this just seems like a money making scam which allows MyKi to get away with overcharging the public.

by ikram (score: 1|12) 2095 days ago
This system is way too difficult to use and has too many problems.
Bring back the old system that worked.
by juani (score: 1|11) 2250 days ago
YES! I thought it would be like an Oyster card, and in many ways it is ... the major difference being that the Myki frequently doesn't work. It is difficult to 'touch on' and often doesn't happen, and even more difficult to 'touch off' which of course, results in the card emptying very quickly. Why not provide employment to an old-fashioned conductor or just insist people buy their ticket at a ticket box (manned by a human being) ... why are we so busy abandoning humans in favour of electronics? OR, at least use a system that works.
by pjw (score: 1|11) 2238 days ago
I agree that MYKI is an inconvenient system. I rarely use public transport and don't always know when I will be using it in advance. If it is a tram I need to catch after the nearby shops have closed, there is nowhere to top my credit if I need it. There needs to be an option for visitors to Melbourne. In Korea, I have been told, that visitors can purchase a card from a vending machine (for a much cheaper price) and return it to a machine, obtaining a refund for the card and the unused credit, when they leave.

There are some people at work who have forgotten their MYKI on occasion and so have been forced to purchase another one. A friend who had more than one ticket for this reason, had parents visiting from New Zealand, who could have easily made it to their destination on public transport on their own. Instead, they waited for my friend to finish work, take public transport from Burwood to Spencer Street to meet them, hand over the spare MYKI cards and travel back to her place.
by leesa (score: 0|9) 2250 days ago
yes, it should return to old ticketing system definately !!
by anna_ (score: 1|11) 2246 days ago
No. It is very convenient to just swipe the card on and off. It would be good to find extra ways to make it more accessible for visitors.
by lolaw (score: 0|9) 2246 days ago
MYKI is a disaster for visitors. Simple to fix. Adjust to the Queensland Go Card system (or the Singapore one!) where you get money back when finished with the card.
Also the "Touch" on/off should be "Swipe" on/off. Having to wait for the reader to respond every time just holds everyone up.

Why not have a daily card that can be read as well as the current version.

So, YES, prefer the old Metcard system.
by geobo (score: 0|7) 1788 days ago
Short trip & daily fares should be available on demand.
Interstate and overseas visitors need these - as well as locals.
Plus instead of another card, which can be lost or damaged - simply use an app that is d/l for free and scanned at stations.. like an e-ticket at the airport.
Seriously, that has got to be cheaper & a whole lot smarter than replacing ticketing machines to suit a system that is so flawed.
by knove (score: 0|8) 2246 days ago
Think Myki. Think totalatarian government. Think totalatarian government think George Orwell. Think George Orwell think ... Myki coming your way soon.
No it's a great system. It lives up to it's reputation. Incompetent, broken and a true representation of just how your government pays yet again may i add squillions of tax dollars to some highly educated yet dumb exucetive/s to come up with a broken system. Holy Carumba Batman where do i get me a job like that? Who are these people and what kind of degree do they have to specialise in to get paid that sort of money to invent a broken system/s? Sure glad brain surgeons aren't run by the same state system. They have to master the game "operation" befor being aloud to cut your skull open. I'm in the wrong job! Of course lets play nicely now, to be fare (pardon the pun) now, bugs do take time to iron out. But the former system worked quite nicely. Tourists benefited,elderly benefited, non iphone + non techno savvy people benefited (& yes to all those under 30, some people believe it or not are not techo savvy - i know they shouldn't be allowed to rome the earth but we let them cos they are our mums & our dads & our grandparents & some special needs people so for humane reasons we let them live), spontanious travellers benefited, low or tight income people benefited (such as your Myki has money on it but your Myki card isn't reflecting this & yes you can top it up (till the Myki computer system registers ITS mistake takeing anywhere form 24 hrs - 4 days) BUT because you're low income you don't have money till next pay day, so how are you supposed to travel on PT when the burden should lie with Myki and not because of something that you have done? Does the word WTF or Please Explain mean anything to you Mr Myki? Sorry to burst your bubble folks but many many victorians have just enough money to get by & we're not just talking about the dole bludgers, the criminally insane, the hobos and the undesirables here ok!), non credit card owners benefited, children travelling to school who dont have to carry a spare back up Myki (because of the systems incompetency and their inability to go tell the guard to go jump in the lake - "no you're not fineing me because your system failed") benefited, emergency jumping on PT to get to your destination people benefited (like your car breaks down and your running late for work and a taxi will cost to much or your loved one has been sent to ER and you don't have the cash for a taxi or access to a car - you just want to get there ASAP), most Victorians benefited ... so the problem is what with Myki? Oh thats right it leads back to that ''1984'' mentality thing again, couple with a complete and utter disregard for it's customers, a true lack of a duty of care to societies most vulnerable, wrapped in 100% incompetency & sprinkled with wasted tax payers money. Hmm, you tell me why we should keep Myki! Oh thats right, some people are benefiting ... those at the top (remember those ones? They are the highly educated executives that breath the same oxygen as you and I who are paid a handsom sum of money to invent broken systems. I think they may be a bit cheaper than the right people for the job because imagine how much they'd have to pay the right people for the job to actually do what they're being paid for? Pow Batman I htink that'd cost a penny or two!) And of course others benefit such as those that choose not to touch on and touch off to save a buck. God bless America!
PS i personally have not had an issue with Myki cos i do have enough money in my back account to top up on the 1 occasion that my sons Myki failed (through no fault of his own & waited 48 hours for their pc to fix the problem) and i do use auto top up and i do treat it like a credit card and i do check 'account history' etc etc etc BUT wrong is wrong in anyones language. It's just wrong!
Would you pay for a dodgy Iphone and expect that to be ok. Would you buy a brand new dodgy car that sometimes worked and sometimes didnt? Would you fly with an air line knowing that sometimes it flys and take soff and sometimes it's grounded, of course not, who'd be so silly? Do you think computer internet companies would last long if they sold products that were "the luck of the draw"? It may or may not work properly on any given day, you may or may not have internet access even though you've paid for it but their system is broken and you have to wait 24hrs - 4 days to have the problem fixed, but hey deal with it cos it's the ONLY internet access company in Victoria that was funded and controlled by your government. So your options are??? Frustration maybe? A little bit angry from time to time perhaps? How about Ticked Off? Monopolies are never good! How about Myki for those that love Myki and never have problem with it and a ticket system that actually works that is user friendly for the rest of us? Too hard? Never fear, my Trusty Myki executive friends are here to help, they'll fix it (in that special government department run sort of way).
by smigg (score: 1|13) 2243 days ago
I travel on public transport 7 days a week using trams,trains and buses, but predominately buses. I find Myki works well for me. What is annoying though are the number of people who just walk straight past the machine and don't pay. Never an inspector around then!
by crmas (score: 1|16) 2250 days ago
I prefer the Met Card, at least you could buy a one day return ticket. As a pensioner I would be lucky to go into the city once a year. when I did go into
the city I found the machine on the station did not work, There are too many people getting fined because of these problem machines also because some of the inspectors on stations are so rude and offer no help. YES BRING BACK OLD SYSTEM
by lorna (score: 1|32) 1646 days ago
We want:
Trams that are wide enough to carry passengers, instead of the elaborate sardine tins now trawling the streets.
Trams returned to our real tram colours of Green & Gold.
CONDUCTORS on trams to assist passengers and keep the peace.
Tram doorways wide enough to allow passenger + parcels onboard together.
Trains with doors appropriately spaced so no-one gets stuck in the middle & cannot get out at their stop (the Blue Harris & Red Rattlers had enough doors for everyone!)
MYKI tickets would work if the machines did likewise!!
MYKI MUST have a simple one-day Visitor Special ticket for tourists!!
When will Victoria wake up and join the rest of the world?
by fluffynut (score: 2|917) 2248 days ago
The Government was left a lemon of a system, it is broken & bleeding income because of the ladk of availability for tickets at the stations. Europe, Japan and Sydney have systems that work why not here in Melbourne
by seddo (score: 1|16) 2251 days ago
Oh my God! What a mess is this MYKI. This is an inconvenient system. I have stopped using public transport because of the confusion of using it. I was always confuse and didn't know when I should be using it in advance. I got fined once even though I top up my card, the ticket checkers told me that there was an error in the card. I hate this system because it is way too difficult to use and has too many problems. PLEASE stop MYKI and bring back the old ticket system that worked really well for almost everyone.

By Alia
by hussa (score: 0|7) 2241 days ago
yes, it should return to old ticketing system definately !!
by connie (score: 0|6) 2249 days ago
Myki isn't the world's best system, but it's still far far better than using paper tickets. I use all my loose change to top up about once a week, and apart from that I just travel without thinking about it. If touching on and touching off is too difficult for you, you'd better also hand over your computer, your phone and probably your car and return to riding a horse everywhere.

There should be a vending machine on trams, but that's a reason to insist on improvement, not on ditching myki.
by books (score: 0|5) 2247 days ago
I used Myki recently I live in Melbourne but I use my car most of the time. I had a day pass on my Myki and was only in the one zone all day but after using the train to get to the city and then the tram around the city centre only by the time I went to return home on the train it was saying 'no way'. So somehow it used up all my credit with all the swiping? No way am i paying anymore than I have to. Myki is a rip off. It would be a good system if it worked as it should - but it doesn't. This is the fault of the people running it then need to fix it, rather than looking to the public for answers.
by miche (score: 0|5) 2246 days ago
I hate myki! My mum visited from qld and got herself a $250 fine for swiping incorrectly on a tram. A train you only swipe once, yet a tram you swipe multiple times - thats a bit hard for a tourist to remember!
by Mallory (score: 2|474) 2251 days ago
Now that we are seemingly stuck with MYKI, the Labor party who stuck us with it has the responsibility to make ONE TRIP ONLY TICKETS available at EVERY outlet that sells MYKI - all newsagents, 711's, stations, etc.
It is LABOR's responsibility to fix this horrible transport mess that they started in the first place. Tourists would love it!
by fluffynut (score: 2|917) 1645 days ago
I agree with you all. I dont have a MYKI card for all those reasons. I just wish I could just buy a ticket for the day rather than buying the whole shabang when I dont need it. Meaning its years and years since I went on a train and when I did I just bought a ticket for the zones I needed to go into. Rather than ditching this system which seems not to work efficiently enough or it has lots of problems with touching on and off which probably is fine but its not working that well when others are deemed not to have touched on or off when like a poster said that how could she/he get thru the gate if she hadnt touched off.
Fix it and allow us who rarely use the transport system and want too, get a ticket like of old and with people helping and where you can pay. Sure there are certain train stations that do. Sigh .. its just all too hard isnt it? I feel so sorry for new visitors trying to figure out what to do and where to go to get sorted. Its a turn off isnt it? someone didnt laterally think about the complications that might be incurred deeply enough.
Just fix it to be totally user friendly and we might all smile.
I know I would.
by summer (score: 2|356) 1786 days ago
There is not enough info on Myki for visitors (where to buy the card, where to top up). I know because I was there when it launched and there were information people available. I take mine with me when I visit. Mykie takes far too long to the card to register. I see 95% of people using transport without swiping on and off. The Queensland Go Card is much faster, simpler and smarter. It works on trains, buses and ferries. Why can't states negotiate for a national system?
by kathy (score: 0|8) 2250 days ago
by max (score: 1|12) 2250 days ago
exactly and more top up places too
by newintstudents (score: 2|474) 1786 days ago
I love the Myki system, but I don't think seniors should be threatened by conductors on vline trains for not validating their tickets when all the validators on one side of the station are all disabled.
by olive (score: 0|9) 2250 days ago
Yessss! Fluffy, I totally agree with you. Maybe we should start a petition :) I'd love to just get a day return ticket and go rather than get a myki card annnnd nit be tracked as to where I've been, not that I have anything to hide...geepers no but know what I mean?
by summer (score: 2|356) 1645 days ago
Kindergarden children playing buses could have come up with a better system
. I consider myself an intelligent adult. I travel overseas regularly and use public transport almost everywhere I go. I have never experienced the frustration that I have with MYKI even in China and that was a long time ago when no one spoke a word of English.
I am still trying to figure out how a tram ticket from Zone 1 can chew up my entire allowance in one trip. ($20 credit, one trip from Balwyn to the city and back).
Swipe, don't swipe, someone please make up your mind. Even inspectors have failed to explain it to me in plain simple English. And please don't get me started on them. Has anyone had a travel card overseas, not spoken a word of the local language and not had any credit on their card.?That's when you see service and not the heavy handedness that we have here.
I have offered to personally escort Yarra Trams officials overseas to see how public transport works.
Some overpaid public servants got paid an awful lot of money to "take on" this excuse of a ticketing system.
by sophi (score: 1|13) 2247 days ago
DefinitelY Scrap It ....I'm A Pensioner And Use To Go Into Melbourne Once A Week USed To Cost Me $5.60 FOr A Return TriP To Frankston, Now It Costs Me Over $10. It Never Works And Is Quite Annoying
by susi_ (score: 0|5) 2250 days ago
No. If any problems then fix them up.
by melvi (score: 0|5) 2250 days ago
Overall MYKI is still the best system.Especially when traveling to different zones.I never want to go back to the old system where the zones where confusing and you had to buy another ticket sometimes.MYKI gives you the insentive to travel to different zones where you otherwise wouldn't. One problem is its too difficult to know for sure how much money you really have saved via each stop on stop off,it's too confusing especially when travelling to different zones in one day and catching a few different busses and trains its hard to keep track of how much you have really saved after swipping off at your final swipe!
by despi (score: 0|9) 2249 days ago
No! Don't replace it! Myki has saved me so much money since it doesn't really work! I reckon I only get charged for a fifth of the trips I make!
Yeah, I guess I'm stupid as ultimately the money would've come out of my taxes, and will come out less infrastructure investment and more disgruntled ptv workers but hey - stupid is as stupid does!
by 2012d (score: 0|7) 2250 days ago

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