Posts Tagged ‘myki’

Step into any given tram, and you will see anxious students sitting sideways or looking out the window. Taking a guess at the source of their worries, it is but of course the dilemma of whether or not an Authorised Officer (AO), or inspector, as they are more commonly referred to among public transport users, is about to hop on at the next stop, or if they will be lucky enough to reach their destination freely, having fare evaded.

Having had enough of passengers getting away with free rides while tax payers compensate for them, Metlink teamed-up with Melbourne-based agency Marmelade in late 2011 to create a TeleVision Commercial (TVC), still currently aired in attempt to reduce fare evasion.

In April, the State Government established a new transport agency named Public Transport Victoria (PTV) by merging the Public Transport Division of the Department of Transport with Metlink. PTV carries out all functions previously undertaken by Metlink. Public Transport CEO, Ian Dobbs says now that Myki has become the sole ticketing system, Transport Ticketing Authority is also included.

Meanwhile, the Metlink TVC has been re-branded under PTV. Under an advertising campaign promising “more checks, more fines, more often” to combat Victoria’s steadily rising number of fare evaders.

According to the Department of Transport’s Network Revenue Protection Plan in 2009, the total network-wide cost of fare evasion is $62,018,697 million per year, as-of the first half of 2009. The biggest cost is on trams ($35 million), followed by trains ($21.5 million) and buses ($5.5 million).

In addition, PTV states that fare evaders make more than 225,000 trips a week on Victoria’s buses, trains and trams. Representing 13 per cent of passengers, forcing paying customers to cover the costs.

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Station Officer Simon Landy says the number of ticket inspectors has increased on the Belgrave line where he is based.

“They do three shifts, so, early, mid and late. If I’m here, through you know, the change over of their shift, I could see up to 12, otherwise it’s six,” Mr Landy says.

Passenger Jessica Lim fears the increased monitoring may not be rightly targeting fare evaders, but rather harshly fining unlucky law-abiding citizens.

I had a ticket, I validated it, and there was something wrong with it, and I didn’t check the screen, so I went out in Melbourne Central, and they had no leniency,” Ms Lim says. “They charged me like a $180 fine. I tried to reason with them and explain that I either I had a faulty ticket or the machine at my stop wasn’t working, but there was no reasoning with them really.

Ms Lim’s observations only confirm reports in italks in 2010, that revealed,

“public transport users felt Melbourne’s ticket inspectors were heavy-handed, lacked leniency and obsessed with raising revenue.”

According to the Network Revenue Protection Plan, many travelers refuse to pay because they believe Melbourne’s public transport service is below standard. The report details that recent research into perceptions of ticket inspectors show. Negative perceptions have been reinforced over time, through both the media and through personal experiences.

“They are seen to exercise significant authority without building legitimacy with customers through protecting and serving them,” the report stated.

Despite this, the Herald Sun recently published an article, in which a report by Auditor-General Des Pearson found “the cost of introducing the Myki smart card will blow out by another $350 million, on top of the existing $1.5 billion price tag, to cover the cost of lost fare revenue to Metro and Yarra Trams.” Fare evasion is in fact on the rise since the introduction of Myki.

To listen to the story with more interviews, click on the following podcast.

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Crushing Problems For Myki

Posted: May 22, 2012 by sonsieau in Melbourne
Tags: , , ,

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”.