“Taking the Myki”

Seriously, that is the best headline for the debacle that is the introduction of Myki – if not the very design of it, at least the half-arsed disaster that’s been the compulsory introduction by the Baillieu government over the last month.

I yield the remaining words of this post to Mathew Dunckley at the AFR (where they came up with the “taking the myki” pun):

I have been “touching on” and “touching off”. Note: not swiping. Myki doesn’t work if you swipe, although your ability to work this out appears to have a direct correlation with the number of people waiting behind you to get out of the station.

So I guess it had to happen but I’ve now had my first personal Myki snafoo. At the station I dutifully put my Myki on the brand spanking new terminal.

I put in my EFTPOS card, punched in the right numbers and, hey presto – nothing happened. Actually, that’s not quite right. A quick check of internet banking revealed I had been debited the $32 or so for my fare but it had not been loaded onto my card.

Damn. OK. I call the number on the machine: 13 – you guessed it – MYKI. Only this is the wrong number. Since the Baillieu government got on its mission to “fix the problems”, you have to ring another number for Public Transport Victoria. Apparently, the stickers are being changed.

A helpful lady took my details but said she was sadly at level one and my query was probably better pitched at level two.

I was a little frustrated by this point… On level two, I got some answers. My money would be refunded. That would take up to 10 days.

Sorry, 10 days? You know my bank account details, when the transaction happened, where, how much, my registered Myki card number, and yet it will take two weeks to get my money back? Yes.

Can’t even get the money onto the Myki card? No.

What happens to my money in the meantime? Oh, you don’t know. Hmm, I would like that answered.

So can I pay over the phone? Yes, but it will take 24 hours to load on your account. No good for a Holding hopeful. Can I pay on the internet? Yes but that too will take 24 hours.

No, I would not like to try my luck with the machine again.

The answer turns out to be finding a retail outlet. Luckily, I discovered, there is one not far from the station. Good thing I got stranded in the morning not the late afternoon when the milk bar closes.

Not ready, and only someone with utter contempt for travellers would’ve forced it on them before these details were resolved.

I can only assume no-one in the Baillieu government actually takes the train, or knows someone who does.

8 responses to ““Taking the Myki”

  1. Does anyone from Melbourne know why they couldn’t just keep paper tickets running simultaneously with the smartcard system, like Adelaide plans too?

  2. Riley, the old Metcard ticket system is getting too expensive to maintain. The company that built it is charging them a fortune in maintenance.

    One of the biggest problems with Myki is the old retrofitted gates. The myki scanners on those are terrible, and are the reason that most people hate the system. As soon as Metcard goes away completely, they can get rid of those gates and replace them with the newer ones that you can see at Melbourne Central station. The newer gates work much, much better.

    They could, if they wanted, use short-term paper Myki-like tickets, as they do in Lisbon and Madrid, but they unfortunately have decided not to take this option.

  3. babsontask

    Has anyone ever done any costings to compare what would have happened if Kennet had left the public transport system and its staff alone?

    The privatised transport companies have received hundreds of millions in subsidies and bailouts. Ticketing systems have proven to the money devouring catastrophes that still don’t work and we are paying through the nose for pretend police and fare evader grabbers.

    The connies punched paper tickets effectively for decades and dealt with the fare evaders at the same time…

  4. I find Melbournians’ inability to cope with Myki utterly hilarious. Perth rolled out electronic tickets years and years ago (just like every other major city in the world), and people were like “ok” and life went on just fine. Whereas Melbournians have been squealing like stuck pigs despite having plenty of time to figure it out. There was an old woman on the news huffing and puffing about how the phase-out meant she only had ‘three months” to learn how to use a Myki now. If you can’t figure it out in fifteen seconds, you shouldn’t be riding public transport at all. Or leaving the house. It is literally simpler than the metcard system.

    Basically in this respect Melbourne is more backwards than Perth, which makes me lol.

  5. You might be assuming that myki is the same as the Perth system, rather than full of non-functioning gates, cards you can’t recharge instantly, etc.

  6. I’ve been using Myki since I moved here a year ago and have never had any issues with it.

  7. Splatterbottom

    I am somewhat disturbed by this dreadful stereotyping and smearing of the entire Myki tribe for the alleged sins of a few recalcitrant members! If these deeply flawed and utterly destructive (not to mention racist) thought reflexes are not curbed now they may spread and even be used to typecast and denigrate humans.

  8. Just purchased my first Myki card, touched on at the train station, machine didn’t recognise it ‘card error’ was the message. Man at the gate told me to call the Myki so called help line when I got home, hence I got a free train and tram ride into the city and back. Called the help line (as of Sept 27th the number on the myki web site is still incorrect) Person on the help line said they couldn’t see anything wrong with the card, but I had to wait 24 hours to register ‘but I can still use my card in the meantime’ Waited 24 hours and still couldn’t register, was told it could take up to 3 days to register but again I could still use my card. I wonder how many more free trips I will get before my card is recognised by this flawed system?

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