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Crushing Problems For Myki

Posted: May 22, 2012 by sonsieau in Melbourne
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By Michael Sones

The problem prone Myki card ticketing system faces issues as the switch over from Metcard continues. As the number of Myki users tops 40% of passengers, the system is causing headaches for users as queues to “touch on, and touch off” at stations growing, especially at peak hour.

Station entrances and exists are not designed for use of the Myki card and some passengers have been noticing large queues at Myki readers leading to scrums trying to force their way through doors. Some have referred to this backing up of passengers as a Myki Crush, and all see it as a nuisance.

With the original rollout date for Myki beginning on the 29th of December 2009 and Metcards ceasing being sold during the last four months, it begs the question, when will this mess get sorted out?

As the issues are felt amongst the public some groups have started to organise protests. Fightback, an Australian protest group, is holding a protest on the 25th of May to the voice their disgust in the runaway spending and bad service that has plagued the Myki system. Their Facebook event for the protest has already garnered two hundred and fifty attending.

When contacted for comment a Myki Customer Care Officer stated, “we advise that when Myki is rolled out across the public transport network, stations will be made to accommodate for additional Myki machines or Myki readers and gates.” This is further backed up by a recent media release from the Minister for Public Transport that stated they would be, “[furthering] installation of Myki equipment.”

But that won’t help solve the problem faced at some of the outer stations where there’s limited space for additional gates. Stations like Bayswater are built in a way that would prevent additional gates being constructed without a major structural overhaul adding more to the already exorbitant costs attributed to the ticketing scheme.

Myki readers have also become a target for vandals, who damage the screens or smash the readers completely, rendering the machines out of order and causing more of a backlog.

Satisfaction in Melbourne’s public transport system is at an all time high, despite issues with the new ticketing system, with Metro Trains boasting high rates of delivery and punctuality. Or if you’re disappointed in the service provided click here for more information on the Fightback protest.

Just remember to “touch on, and touch off”.

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by Michael Sones

The recent attack on two Chinese students highlights the racial and cultural difficulties Chinese immigrants face in Australia.

Kristy Zhou, a twenty-seven year-old student from Hubei province in China, has faced many instances of both subtle and overt racism that have left her feeling frustrated and alienated. Despite living in Australia for three years she says, “I realise I’m not seen as Australian here.” 

A 2011 report by Monash University found that fourteen per cent of Australians have experienced racism, a sharp increase from ten percent in 2010.

Racism has also caused Kristy to leave two separate positions of employment, one working at a charity and another as a barista. ”It was the first time I dealt with Australians other than family,” she said, “and I didn’t know how to deal with that. It wasn’t something I expected.”

Before coming to Australia Kristy knew very little about the nation beyond the Gold Coast, and said there’s not much said about the Australian national identity where she’s from.

Kristy mentioned that students are forming groups and unions in an attempt to lessen incidents against them. She went on to say that they shouldn’t have to and hopefully won’t have to in the future. She believes cultural difficulties are the stem of most issues, and education is needed to prevent attacks and misunderstandings.

Despite feeling more wary of others she hasn’t stopped wanting to associate with Australians and is still excited to live in Australia.

The Australian Human Rights Commission has recently held public consultation around Australia in an attempt to establish a national strategy for tackling racism. It is expected to launch its strategy during July 2012.

Click to listen to some of the Interview.