Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Myki Musings

The Twittersphere is full of complaints about Myki card readers, slow or not working at all, on trams and at railway stations. Myki is our stored value card for payment on public transport, like London's Oyster Card.

We rarely have problems, but R did today when he went into town on the tram. The third Myki card reader he tried did work. There was a woman in uniform on the tram who was checking the Myki readers. A female passenger boarded and tried her Myki at two different readers, as had R, and neither worked for her. The tram person told her to try the machine down the back which 'is working'. It did not. The woman was obviously not an experienced tram user or a regular Myki user, not that it really matters.

Well, it does in a way as a regular traveller would not have done as this woman did. The tram person then suggested she get on to the tram behind where the Myki readers would be working, and the woman complied. R was furious in sympathy for the woman, angry at the tram person and ranted long and hard to me about vile and shocking Myki. I cannot but help but agree. The woman should have been told to sit down and not worry about it.

Myki card readers seem to be falling apart at the seams and I have not seen a tram yet without the old Metcard machines.

I am normally sceptical of tales from people who have been roughed up by tram and train police but their actions in the following tale from Sister does seem like an overreaction.

Four blokes had been to the footy at the MCG. One is a personal friend of Sister and hard as it is to imagine Sister having a friend who smokes, this chap does. With a cigarette in his hand, he and his mates were hurrying for the Geelong train. He entered Flinders Street Station with the cigarette in his hand, and was promptly challenged by the station guards. He apologised and of course put his cigarette out, but that was not satisfactory to the station guards. They wanted his name and address to make a report, and presumably a fine would be issued. He argued with them that he really needed to catch the train and did not want  to be detained and tried to leave. He was put down on the ground, effectively arrested and detained and missed his train.

Sister told me he is not an aggressive type but quite artistic. He did two things wrong, having a cigarette in his hand when he entered the station and not stopping to give his details when challenged. No one could argue in his favour.

But it was hardly a terrible crime that he committed, yet he was detained, humiliated and missed his train and will no doubt get a fine in the post of a couple of hundred dollars.

Hmm, I dunno, I really don't.

When I am sitting stationary in my car in the Domain Tunnel, I wonder why I am being charged for the privilege. City Link will refund if it is the cause of the problem, but it rarely is. It is the government owned West Gate Bridge that is usually the problem, and that is quite correct. But when I am sitting stationary in the City Link tunnel, and I have paid, and City Link is not delivering what I expected when I paid, then I feel quite cross.

Is it not the same for public transport? You pay and you have certain expectations, such as having a safe journey and arriving on time. Yet too often this is not delivered as expected, but you must still pay. I am not saying it is right, but I have some sympathy for people who don't pay because they have received a bad service public transport trip.

Ah well, what can you do. How about a good Myki story? Little Jo has her own Myki card, but once Sister forgot to bring it with when they visited here, so I went online to buy one for Little Jo to keep here at the High Rise. Apart from the weirdness of doing in the first person as a five year old, it was a seamless process and the new card arrived in the post two days later.

12 comments:

  1. What fun public transport it is always a problem, the guards on Sydney trains no longer exist I think the police are taking over but I don't think thats working yet so you could smoke your head off up here.We have automatic terminals that at my station are left open most of the time so if you don't have a ticket it's not a problem, but the do check sometimes so it's not worth the risk.
    I have lately used the countrylink service and I have nothing but praise for them, the staff are wonderful the trains clean and the seats very comfortable but don't eat the hot food it's very bad just stick to sandwichs.
    Merle...........

    ReplyDelete
  2. Merle, I am not so sure. I think your trains still have guards. I just read the other day of how one of the long distance suburban trains has a guard at the end of the train, and once the train gets closer to the city, the guard changes to the centre of the train, like most of your suburban trains. However, Melbourne got rid of guards on trains years ago and I can't see them lasting much longer in Sydney. Countrylink runs the Sydney to Melbourne train, so it is good to hear you get good service. You need to for the time the train takes to journey between Australia's two largest cities. I've often found sandwiches are the best options. They are harder to get wrong.

    ReplyDelete
  3. do not ruin your above experiences by travelling on the Geelong/Warrnambool train. Surly unreasonable ticket checkers think they are QANTAS Hosties, 'Buffet' food disgusting and overpriced (during the brief time it is actually available), and I suspect the buffet counter only exists to sell the VB.

    Much as I loathe the acrid stink of smokers who enter a carriage and get near me, that SoCross cigarette arrest was disgusting and spiteful. I wish a pox on the megalomaniacs who did it. Give an idiot some minor authority and you get a little Hitler pretty swiftly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha Ann, you made your views about ticket checker quite apparent the last time we met up. Sad to hear about the Warrnambol train.

      Delete
  4. I agree 150% the woman should have been asked to sit down and not worry about it. After all it isn't her fault that the Myki readers are faulty.
    All of our card readers seem to be working very well. Of course they aren't Mykis.
    I think that was a bit too rough on the guy at Flinders Street Station, he did put out his cigarette immediately. What if he'd been a tourist who didn't know the rules or understand the language?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. River, I did not think of that, but what it the person was Euro back packer who had no knowledge of where you can smoke and where you can't. I know the rules, covered area, because I live here, but a visitor may not.

      Delete
  5. So there you have it - the fear that drives me to drive.
    The cancelled trains, the incorrect platform signs, even the bogongs - I could put up with all of that if I was not sure that at some point I will be punished for a crime where there was no mens rea.
    This fear is not imaginary nor merely a response to urban myth, it stems from the sort of crap I have observed personally, and written about before.

    This country is groaning under the paralysing pressure of delegated authority. Megalomaniacs is a good word, Ann, and they are a pox.

    Dictatorship run by the lowest common denominator. It might be obscene, it might even be laughable, but it is certainly not democracy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. FC, I love your last sentence, because it is true. We are governed by pandering to the middle suburban marginal electorates. Lucky you live in one.

      Delete
  6. That's horrible that they told the woman to get off the tram and wait for another.

    Why should she be inconvenienced for a problem that's not her fault?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dina, she will not speak favourably of the Myki system to her family and friends, and so its reputation worsens.

      Delete
  7. ugh a complete over reaction by a bunch of uniformed thugs. Unacceptable really.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought so Fen, but I will remind you, I wasn't there and it is a third hand tale.

      Delete