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.