Thursday, July 19, 2018

Myki Madness

BAD is still in Barcelona. Let's hope no one takes her to a Spanish gay bar.

Today's post was supposed to be of photos of Paris, but photo posts are harder work than just ranting with my fingers rattling the keyboard.

I know what some or your cities' public transport stored value cards are called. The names make little sense to me, with only the Octopus Card with spread tentantacles making any sense at all. Victoria's is called Myki. Maybe there is some sense in the name, My Key, to public transport.

For some weird reason, in Victoria our Myki cards expire after three years and they have to be replaced. Three years ago,  R had to replace his Myki so he went to Flinders Street Station to do so. It was painful.

If you catch a tram in Melbourne, you do not have to touch off with your Myki. You do on buses and trains. The reason is that it would cause great delay to trams as everyone touched off as they leave a tram. Our trams are very busy vehicles and depend on moving with minimal loading and unloading delay. Did you hear that that? No need to touch off on a Melbourne tram. Yes, looking at you Farm-ily.

So, R did not touch off his Myki on the tram when he went to Flinders Street Station, but to replace his Myki, he needed to touch it off. Who would have guessed that? He was sent in a train barrier and then out again. Because he was 'in the paid area', for less than 15 minutes, he would not be charged.

The rest of the process neither of us can remember.

It was time to renew his Myki again. He did touch off on the tram to ensure a smooth process. The exchange from the old to the new was no problem, until we got home. He was told by the clerk (in an autocratic manner, I say that clerk is pronounced as clark on my blog) that he would have to change his auto card top up details with the number of his new Myki. Fine, we will do that online.

He spent half an hour trying to do so, and I spent half an hour trying to do so, and there seems no way to do such a simple thing at the Myki website, but we couldn't.

Now we have had a computer and been connected to the internet since about 1996, so we are not really people who don't know how to turn on a computer. Nevertheless, we are stumped. I can only think there might be a time allowance for the things to update at Myki. If not, it will be an old fashioned phone call to the Myki org, who are always very helpful. We think the same thing happened the last time.

I will say though, with auto top up, normally our Myki cards work without a problem. But what is the need to replace our cards after three years? It is nonsense. I know our London Oyster Cards will work the next time we are in London, as long as they have credit, and I know they do, and that is surely five years after we last used them.

25 comments:

  1. OMG .... the three year swap!!!! WHY???
    I could not do this at my local Chemist (I can top up there like it was the Casino- no prob!) so I had to go into the bloody city and wait in line ... I mean its Rrrrrrr
    I need a drink just thinking of that .

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    1. Lady J, it is crazy that it is so difficult to do, and that it has to be done so often.

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  2. I remember with joy when trams had a driver to drive and a conductor to sell tickets/help the elder/help mums with pushers/provide a bit of security for uni students in the evening etc. Those were the days!!

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    1. Hels, yes, many will remember the 'connies' fondly, although not all were so great. When R first came to Melbourne, the MMTB used to employ uni students part time as conductors.

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  3. I know nothing about public transport these days. The last time I caught a train was 10 years ago...when I travelled from Helensvale on the Gold Coast...to Central Station in Brisbane...where I changed trains, to travel further north onto Cooroy which is a little inland from Tewantin/Noosa Heads. (And then back again...a couple of days later).

    How confusing..and frustrating...all of that is...what you describe.

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    1. Lee, now, depending where you were coming from, you might have caught the Gold Coast tram to get to Helensvale Station. We managed to sort it out today.

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    2. I went by car from here on the mountain to Helensvale Station...and by the same method upon my return, Andrew.

      And went by car from Cooroy Station to Tewantin...and same on the return.

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  4. Like Lee, I haven't been on any public transport for ages. If at some time we return to over-winter back in the UK, I shall apply for a free bus pass, and make full use.

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    1. Cro, an English bus pass is a treasure to hold.

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  5. I should check and see if our Metro Cards expire at all. I know the Seniors cards don't expire, I've had mine almost six years now. Also here in Adelaide, there's no touching off on any of the transport forms. Validate the card when you board the bus, tram or train and that's it.

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    1. River, that sounds so sensible. So you must pay a flat fare for each trip, which would be capped at a certain level.

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  6. We have to touch on and off with our cards. And they do expire. I don't think they give us three years either.

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    1. EC, are you sure? Less than three years would be a nightmare.

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    2. They expire two years after the last use. I just checked.

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    3. EC, after the last use? So if you keep using them do they not expire?

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    4. That is right. If you keep using them they stay live.

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    5. And I assume don't expire at all, until the plastic deteriorates. That is how it should be.

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  7. Didn't know that about not tagging off when you leave the trams. So are there no different zones with different prices or is the money just deducted when you tag on and that's that?
    I see no point in renewing cards either, what a waste of time, money...

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    1. Sami, there are I think two trams that go out into Zone 2. It is unlikely that it is relevant to anyone but people who live in these suburbs. If you travel entirely within that zone, there is a need to touch off. Otherwise, touching on charges you the default fare of a two hour ticket. If you touch on again on a tram, train or bus more than two hours later, you pay an all day fare. If you don't touch off on a bus or a train, the default fare is a day ticket.

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  8. Went to a couple of gay bars in Madrid last year. They were terrific. Lots of people. Friendly. Unlike Australia where everyone spends most of their time looking at their mobile phones!!

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    1. James, and your Sydney bars are much friendlier than ours. Or were. The last gay bar we were in was in Sydney last year and before that, Manhattan a few years ago.

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  9. That sounds like a horror? Why must one renew so often? Here however if you want a bus pass, for the two routes available, you buy a monthly pass and show it, or you still pay in cash. So we are behind the times most definitely and maybe because so many cannot afford internet and have too little money to buy more than for one month, if that.

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    1. Strayer, I have never heard a proper explanation and I know in other places, the card just lives on. There is very little cash used here on public transport, which speeds up things like trams and buses. You don't have to have the internet. You can top it with a credit/debit card or cash at ticket machines.

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  10. A couple of weeks back I caused a bank up of intending passengers at Flinders Street Station when I tried unsuccessfully about five times to get my Myki card to open the turnstile. I wandered away despondently to catch a tram instead and was about 100 metres away when it dawned on me that the card I was trying to use was not the Myki but my recently acquired National Gallery of Victoria membership card.

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    1. Haha Victor. There is usually an attendant to advise people who struggle with such simple tasks.

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Democracy is all very well, but why give it to the people? - Audrey Forbes-Hamilton.