Myki coming to Melbourne soon

UPDATE: As of 2012, some of the information below is outdated.
This page of Myki Questions and Answers has been updated, and is a good starting point to finding out how Myki will work

This article is from our September 2009 member newsletter. Join the PTUA to receive regular newsletters.

The Myki juggernaut rolls on, and the government are saying it will be switched on in Melbourne by the end of the year.

While the PTUA has consistently said the huge amount of money involved would have been better spent on staff, services, tram/train extensions and extra vehicles, we now face the likely prospect that the system will be fully implemented in the near future.

So, what does this mean for passengers? There will be three ways of using the Myki system.
Myki in Bendigo

Using Myki

The first is to ignore the re-usable plastic cards and buy only ‘short-term’ cardboard tickets each time you travel. These will be Daily or 2–hour, Adult or Concession, and available in all zones. Pricing will be the same as at present, for instance $6.80 for a full-fare Zone 1 daily.

The second is to buy a plastic Myki card and pre-load money onto it, which you then use each time you travel. This is called ‘Myki money’ and trips will be charged at the discounted rate, equivalent to using a 10×2 hour ticket, with a cap of two charges per day (as now) — for instance $5.88 for a day in Zone 1. Travel on the weekend will be capped at the current Weekend Saver rate, for example $3.00 for Zones 1 and 2.

The third is to use a plastic Myki card and load a ‘Myki pass’ onto it. This can be a weekly, or any time period from 28 to 365 consecutive days. The pass is valid from the time of first use. The weekly pass pricing will be the same as now ($29.40 for Zone 1). For longer periods the pricing will be similar to that used now for Monthlies and Yearlies.

At the time of writing it is uncertain if the ‘all zones in weekends’ travel benefit available with current periodical tickets will be retained. We will be watching this issue carefully: as recently as the 1990s, a periodical ticket entitled the bearer and their entire family to free travel on weekends, a loyalty benefit which has been steady eroded. Update: This benefit is being withdrawn: See below for the TTA’s response on this.

A plastic Myki card can actually have a combination of a ‘Myki pass’ and ‘Myki money’. The Myki pass would be used for regular travel, while the Myki money would be available for occasional trips outside the zone/s covered by the Myki pass.

Myki fare gatesThe plastic Myki cards will not be free. The pricing will be $10 full fare and $7 concession. A range of people including Seniors Sunday pass holders will be posted free Myki cards. The cards will be able to go into negative balance to complete a trip, so the reasoning is that by charging for the card it will prevent people just throwing them away and getting a new one, thus avoiding the need to pay for travel.

For people switching to Myki early, there will be incentives to make getting a Myki cheaper or free. In the regional areas, the cards were initially offered for $5, with $5 of Myki money on them — so effectively free.

How will you use Myki?

Passengers will be required to touch on, and off, on every trip. This is how the Myki system will work out if a Myki pass covers the trip, or if Myki money needs to be deducted from the card, and if so, how much.

The Transport Ticketing Authority has been studying the likely effect of this on passenger flows and vehicle speeds. In March it was revealed that studies, conducted in 2007, concluded that trams at busy stops would suffer extra delays. The TTA say they used this information to make adjustments to the location of scanners to improve boarding times.

Some delays were also seen initially in regional town buses, though our Geelong branch has concluded that the worst delays have dissipated as passengers have got used to the new system. (A few issues still remain, though.)

And if you don’t touch off? There will be a ‘default fare’ applied, which penalises you for not doing so. This is yet to be announced, but judging from the regional pricing, this is likely to be a minimal 20 cent charge for trams and buses operating in a single zone. The real ‘hit’ comes on the rail system or on multi-zone buses and trams (such as routes 75 and 86). On these routes, the default fare is likely to be the cost of travelling in two zones, plus the 20 cents.

Update 21/10/2009: The TTA has announced that the default fare on the rail system is the zone 1+2 two-hour discounted fare, $4.96 (full fare). On trams and buses, the default fare is the fare to the end of the line.

Want to know more?

In the next few weeks more information about the Myki rollout is expected to be made public. And if you’re curious, check the Myki web site to read about how it works in regional towns.

Also, the Transport Ticketing Authority will be available at our Members Meeting at 6pm on Monday 12 October (at Ross House, 247 Flinders Lane, Melbourne) to answer your questions about Myki.

Please note, you must be a current PTUA member to attend PTUA Members Meetings. You can join now or on the night.

Update: You can now read all about it in the Fares and Ticketing Manual (Myki) available on the Metlink web site.

Answers to questions from the PTUA’s Myki meeting

We’ve got these responses back from the Transport Ticketing Authority regarding questions raised at the meeting which could not be answered on the night:

Q. Periodical zone benefit: at present Weekly or longer ticketholders can use their ticket in both metropolitan zones. We understand this benefit will be withdrawn under Myki, but the cost for the extra zone will be small due to the weekend caps in place. Can you state (using 2009 prices) how much will this extra zone cost be for full fare and concession users, for a zone 1 user going into zone 2, and for a zone 2 user going into zone 1? And how precisely is this calculated?

The system counts the value of a pass towards the myki money daily cap which is $3 on weekends.

The maximum someone will pay with myki money for a single trip travelling in the metro area is shown below:

Full fare customer with zone 1 myki pass – $0.06
Full fare customer with zone 2 myki pass – $0.98
Concession customer with zone 1 myki pass – $1.01
Concession customer with zone 2 myki pass – $1.47

However, concession users will pay less than this if they travel again after their 2hr product has expired, for example a Concession customer with zone 1 myki pass travelling into Zone 2 who reaches a daily cap will pay $ 0.06.

This also applies to travel to regional cities. If a Zone 1 myki pass holder wants to go to Geelong, then they won’t pay the first $2.94 of their fare on the way out. So there are benefits for people going to/from regional Victoria.

Q. What happens in the situation that network communications between the scanner and Myki’s central database goes down? Will tickets continue to work properly and transactions recorded correctly? (Are buses and trams wirelessly connected to the database? How reliable will this be, particularly in hilly areas such as the Dandenongs?)

Value is stored on the card. Myki readers operate independently of communications with back office software for up to seven days. There are no continuous communication requirements between the devices on all three modes and the myki central system for successful operation of the system.

Because card readers are independent of each other, it is extremely unlikely that all devices at a train station, or onboard a tram or bus will not be working at the same time. What this means is customers will always be able to touch on and touch off every time they take public transport.

Q. Current Monthly tickets run for a calendar month. What is the price difference between a Monthly ticket (currently valid for up to 31 days) and a 31 day pass under Myki?

The price per day for a pass is the monthly ticket price divided by the average number of days per month (eg. 30.4). So if you purchase a 30 day pass it will be cheaper than a monthly ticket, and if you purchase a 31 day pass it will be slightly more expensive. We have replicated the current pricing.
Using concession pricing as an example: the myki price for a zone 1 concession pass will be $1.80 by the desired number of days. Currently a zone 1 concession monthly pass works out at $1.76 per day if there are 31 days in the month, if there are 28 days in the month the daily price works out at $1.95.

So a myki zone 1 concession monthly pass would cost $55.80.

Q. Will there be some kind of prompt that a Myki pass is about to expire (either pushed via email/SMS to a registered passenger, or a prompt on the scanners)? What about Myki money about to run out (particularly if no autoload amount has been set)?

There are no current plans to email or SMS customers, but this can be looked at for future functionality, if customers find this desirable. Yellow warning lights on myki readers remind customers of that their balance is low or they only have a few days remaining on their myki pass. The value remaining on the card can be seen at touch off.

Q. Will tram vending machines take credit and/or ATM cards?


Q. Will every station platform have a vending machine?

Not all V/Line stations will have vending machines.
On the electrified network it is intended that stations will have vending machines in approximately the same locations as they are now.

Q. Are all the station platform scanners now in place? (It’s notable that the entrance to McKinnon platforms 1/2 appears to have only a single scanner; there may be others in this boat.)

Device installation is almost complete. There are some locations where we are not permitted to install both myki readers yet – Mackinnon is one of these – this is due to space /design restrictions in almost all instances – for example the Mackinnon Metcard validator is in the same location that the 2nd myki reader will be going , so this will not be installed until later in transition , once the metcard validators are able to be removed.

Q. What will the Myki call centre hours be?

6am to 10pm, 7 days a week

Q. Short-term tickets: Will there be a scheme to hand them back for wiping and re-using? (Further thought: this is probably impractical for vending machines, where the tickets would need to be on a roll in the machine, but might work for tickets sold by station staff or bus drivers.)

There are no plans to reuse short term tickets. To reduce the use of short term tickets, we will be encouraging the use of myki.

Q. We know short-term tickets are not recyclable – are they bio-degradable?

No. Every attempt will be made to encourage customers to use myki instead of short term tickets.

Q. If someone using Myki Money lives in the CBD and catches a tram two stops, they’ll initially be charged the 10x City Saver rate $2.18. If they board another tram within the two-hour period, will they be upgraded to paying for 2 hours ($2.94)?

Yes. Because that will be the best fare for that trip for that customer using myki money.

Q. Currently compensation is payable for poor tram or train performance for monthly and longer ticketholders, but only if a claim form is submitted, which is a significant barrier. Are there any plans for the Myki system be able to handle this automatically?

Public transport users will still be able to claim customer compensation once myki is introduced, provided they have a myki pass valid for 28 days of travel or more.

Customers will need to quote their unique myki number to claim compensation. We are investigating an online application process in addition to the current paper-based process

Q. Someone using Myki Money has taken one trip and their current two hours expires at 2pm. They board a tram at 1:50pm, touching-on, and alight half-an-hour later, touching-off at 2:20pm. Does Myki include that trip within the first two-hour block, or charge them for another two-hour block? (Under the current system the time charged is based on the start of the trip; a 10×2 hour Metcard would only use one block of time.)

Current arrangements relating to timing of trips and ticket expiry remain the same.

See also: