New ticketing system announced
The government has announced the new public transport ticketing system, to be called Myki. You can find details of this on their web site, www.myki.com.au.
The PTUA believes that given the huge amount of money being spent on this project (almost half-a-billion dollars over ten years), better value for money would have been achieved by spending a small amount on fixing the worst problems of the Metcard system (and perhaps introducing touch cards, which were originally planned for Metcard) and spending the rest on service improvements and staff.
Putting staff back onto public transport — on trams and stations — would fight fare evasion (currently costing around $50 million per year) and help with security and customer service. The “Myki” smartcard will not help with these issues.
However, given the new system is now being built, we will be working with the Transport Ticketing Authority (TTA) to try and ensure that it is a big improvement over Metcard — it is the least the public have the right to expect given the huge sums of money involved.
We are continuing to raise our concerns over the requirement to “scan off” on every trip, which is likely to be as unpopular as re-validation is now, and may cause delays getting off crowded vehicles.
And with staff assistance being so scarce, we consider the TTA’s biggest challenge will be making the ticket machines easy enough to use that people who don’t normally use public transport will be able to figure them out.