Category Archives: Public Transport

“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.