Friday, November 30, 2012

Myki 29/12

As of the 29th of December you will have no option other than to buy a stored value Myki card to travel on Melbourne's public transport. They Myki ticket system seems to work well enough. I am amazed at the stalwarts who hung out using Metcards, when Myki fares were a good bit cheaper.

If I travel interstate or overseas, I check out the public transport system in advance online, including the ticket system. If I don't do it in advance, I fall on the mercy of a local and no doubt pay through the nose. I don't have a lot of sympathy for foreign travellers in Australia who have to deal with our ticket system. I have had to do it in many of our states and overseas countries. That is just what you do when you travel. Their country, their ways. Our country, our ways.

But there is another category of public transport user, the very casual local Melbourne public transport traveller, like the visitors from the country or from Box Hill South.  Our Brother Friends fall into this category. In the last twenty years they may have used public transport ten times, always to do something with us. We take on the responsibility of sorting out that they have change or tickets in advance.

We won't do this again. What I will do is tell them to get off their arses and go and buy a Myki card in advance, with some credit. It is not too hard and the $6 for the card will not send them broke, no matter how they will moan about it.

There are so many important issues with our public transport that need to be dealt with. The PTUA fighting for a single journey ticket, dispensed by a new machine no doubt, is a lost cause and they would do better to devote their efforts to other issues. The PTUA is about four years too late to fight for the cause. Lol, I almost forgot that the PTUA is a political organisation. Someone from the PTUA has been on the phone and the new president, Tony Morton, is suddenly being called Dr Morton in the media. Yeah, that gives him a bit more credibility. PS, shallow, I know, but he was cute when he was younger.

Interestingly in Adelaide and Sydney, and Brisbane and Perth, they have or are introducing much simpler smart card public transport systems that cost tax payers much less.

It would seem Melbourne is a bit special with its new expensive smart card system, but that is what we have. We have to live with it and the time for fighting against it has passed. I think even the person in Victoria's Larrikens End already has Myki.




29 comments:

  1. I must remember this when next time I'm there.

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    1. You, cross the Murray Diane? You'll freeze.

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  2. I'll admit to feeling a bit overwhelmed by it and wonder what the best solution will be for us when we spend three days in Melb before Christmas...

    .... too tired at the moment to think about getting it in advance, but maybe an online option is a good idea?

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    1. Kath, for someone like your family, I wouldn't bother with online. Just go to 711 and buy three Myki cards and put a few dollars on each. It is hard to believe that the new system was up and running when you left Australia, and the old system is only now being shut down.

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  3. Anonymous12:47 am

    Guess I'd better look it up before Feb. V.

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    1. Really nothing to look up V. Pop across the road from your opulent Melbourne accommodation and buy one for $6 at the shop, stick $10 on it and you'll be right for a couple of days travel. The card lasts three years but that period is going to be extended.

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  4. I have rolled over, and now own a card appropriately marked with a large C. I have used it once. This in turn seems to have caused Sennalink to piff me off me elf care card on account of not actually getting any CASH out of Newstart, making my new Myki useless. The balance on it - soon to be suspended – far exceeds the extra I spent on Metcards. Of course, the fares are only cheaper if one uses a card often enough to recoup the “only 6 bucks” they cost. No doubt I will have to buy a “C-less” version sometime in the next 12 months. This will give me two years to save up the cost of an S version.
    "MYKI cards - so attractive you'll want to collect the whole set."

    I accept your point about preparation, study and advance planning, but suspect people as thick or literal as myself will not be able to make head or tail of it. I can guarantee half the information now available online is still impenetrable and inconsistent.

    I will not accept there is anything decent about expecting elderly country people of a non-tech generation to fart about with Myki for occasional visits to medical facilities in the city - especially when these visits are often required for dreadfully stressful reasons in the first place.

    The day I got my own card I saw someone a) queue to buy a card, b) go to another machine to put money on it, c) check the balance as shown by a special Myki rep, d) proceed to a gate to touch on then e) be told by the gate sensor the card had no money on it. The traveller [who ought to just suck it up] was then told she had to forward the card by post to some Myki office to get a refund. She missed two trains while all this went on, and then had to find more money to buy a second card to put money on, trusting that the new card would work.

    I would also observe [rather than complain] that the best way to attract customers is to make it easy/pleasant for people to actually buy your product. [Ah, now I get it, Harvey Norman was chief consultant.]
    Human Nature being what it is, I am confident that both fare evasion and traffic congestion in the city would plummet if the system was a little friendlier. This might even provide some extra money for other priorities.

    It might be something we are stuck with, but it is still a load of bollocks.

    The ONLY good thing about it is that Ted Baillieu buried the enquiry results, said it worked for him and then implied we could like it or lump it – all without the usual transparently patronising political spin. Thank heaven for small mercies.

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    1. FC, someone in the Highrise has the treasured Myki with an S on it. It is so cheap for him, and he did not have to pay for it. It just arrived in the post. Now if anyone would complain about Myki, he would, but he doesn't as it just works for him.

      Right or wrong for ailing country folk, in many cities they would have to do the same. Once VLine is using Myki, they can buy in advance anyway. Watching country people trying to buy a Metcard, which they didn't have a clue about, from the machine on a moving tram and needing coins only, was perhaps worse.

      The ticket boss says that within the first couple of months next year, refunds will be on the spot.

      Myki is a terribly complicated and overblown system, yet for most people, it will be quite simple to use.

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    2. TO just confirmed she had to pay $3 for her S card earlier this year. It wouldn't be a surprise if other people do get them free.
      If they fix the refunds I will only be half as miffed - so there's something to look forward to!

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    3. FC, I think you had to be 60 before a certain time to get a free one in the post.

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    4. Am I right in assuming S is for Senior? Then yes, Seniors cards are issued at 60, but not automatically, you have to apply for them. I did my application online and received the card in the mail, following that my new Seniors card with the Metro Card symbol on it arrived in the mail without having to reapply.
      I don't understand why every state has a different system, I think they should have just one ticket/card system throughout Australia, it would make things so much easier, especially for the elderly who travel to visit family and get confused by the differing systems.

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    5. I agree River. It is so complicated now. Even if you read Victoria's ticketing manual where the finer details are noted, things still aren't clear.

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  5. Colin7:46 am

    Public transport card systems.
    Sydney - yes. Seniors can get a one day card there which takes in all buses, trains and ferries. If you could do it in a day, you can travel from Scone (near Tamworth) to Bathurst and back to Scone. It is also so easy to use.
    Brisbane - no. It is an utter shambles. I was told recently of a new fangled money making idea for visitors to Brisbane to be hit with. I darn near fell over with the shock. I'll check on this "rip off" idea because it can't possibly be true and let you know.

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    1. Colin, what is the cost of this Sydney ticket? Melbourne's equivalent for all modes of suburban transport for seniors was only three or four dollars. For adults in Melbourne, a daily ticket for all modes was less than $10. In Sydney, last time we were there, it was around $18.

      I'd be interested to know of this 'rip off'.

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    2. Colin9:14 am

      Seniors ticket is $2.50. All you have to do if they ask is produce your seniors card.
      Re: Rip off - well it came from a good source - but I will recheck, the SM who "floored" me, knows what he is talking about, hopefully I heard incorrectly.
      It certainly won't work if it is true.

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    3. That is cheap Colin and good for seniors. Ours was 3.80 now dropped to 3.60.

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    4. I am not 100% sure, but I think I was told by a senior in South Australia that in Adelaide, travel is FREE on the trains, buses and trams for SENIORS! Maybe, an Adelaide person could clarify this?

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    5. I think you may be right Colin.

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    6. Seniors in Adelaide travel free between 9am and 3pm Monday to Friday, then all day on weekends and public holidays. On buses, trams and trains.

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    7. River, I think that might be the most generous system for seniors in Australia.

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  6. You touched on a good point that few people have mentioned yet. Regular users keep on topping up their Myki card at their newsagent, Myki vending machine or wherever. It has worked very well.

    But what do country or insterstate travellers do? And what does a Melbourne person, who never uses public transport, do if on a whim he/she jumps on a tram?

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    1. Hels, did you use public transport in Europe earlier this year? What did you do? So often, the on a whim people who go a couple of stops, don't pay anyway.

      What did we do when we went to Sydney and to Adelaide, or Malaysia? I still have my Singapore smartcard, with some small value on it. We never bothered with an Oyster Card in London, thereby paying higher fares, but for the little we travelled on the Tube, it did not seem worth the bother. But if there was not a single trip ticket, we would have bought Oyster Cards at Heathrow when we arrived.

      The real point is that it is too late now to argue for simple, single ticket.

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  7. Anonymous2:52 pm

    The city buses here have a wonderful, easy to use system that actually gives something back to commuters. I can buy a pass for 5000 yen, which can be used on any city bus. It's actually credited with 5800 yen, which gives me a return trip into town - free! V.

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  8. V, how long does the pass last?

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    1. Anonymous9:13 pm

      As far as I know, there isn't a time limit. V.

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  9. It's funny coz I think people like to moan needlessly about it and I think it's because they resist change. I had 3 friends come down from Sydney and they just purchased their Myki's and put some credit on them. They thought it was a good system and didn't mind one bit.

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    1. Fen, I guess we are talking about tech phobic types who, as you say, are resistant to change.

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  10. I was bemused to read in the newspaper this week that Sydney's soon to be trialled Opal Card which replaces the never realised Transport Card that was supposed to have been fully operational in time for the Sydney Olympics (in 2000) is already out of date because 'all other major cities with transport cards' now are moving to 'smart solutions' like swiping your mobile phone against a reader when you travel.

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    1. I read that too Victor, but I expect the Opal card will be quite simple in its operation. Sometimes things can be too clever.

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