Axe Myki and use e-Tag instead, says PTUA

Touching-off with an eTagFollowing the Napthine government’s announcement that single-use public transport tickets will no longer be available from this month[1], the Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) has urged the government to abandon the trouble-plagued Myki card and instead rollout e-Tag on the public transport network.

Most regular users of CityLink and EastLink have an e-Tag, while many less frequent users opt to set up an access account or buy short-term day or weekend passes for travel. Expanding these to public transport would offer public transport users both regular and single-use ticket options.

Like CityLink travellers without an e-Tag, under the proposal public transport users without an e-Tag will have up to 3 days to buy a day pass after their trip, removing the need to carry a Myki card at all times in case they make an unexpected or spontaneous public transport journey. Even if users forget to pay within 3 days, the small admin fee of $11.34 charged on top of toll payments made more than 3 days after travel is still much less than the $207 fine under Myki.

Myki vs eTag

For public transport users opting to use e-Tag, the upfront payment for an e-Tag will be fully credited towards travel, unlike the $6 cost of a Myki card which is non-refundable and not credited towards travel.

Switching to e-Tag will also save time entering and exiting stations. Slow response times touching on and off with Myki can create long queues at station gates. However, e-Tag’s faster response times will enable passengers to run past the e-Tag platform gantry to catch their train and still touch on successfully

Unfortunately, shifting public transport users over to e-Tag may encourage them to use tollroads instead of public transport. However, given the government’s focus on building more roads while delaying public transport projects, at least it would be consistent with their transport policy.

Touching-on with an eTag

[1] Single-use public transport tickets are still available on regional town buses in Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo, Latrobe Valley and Seymour, but will be phased-out this month.