Having a smartcard like London’s Oyster Card for an transport system is helpful – you don’t have to wait in line and keep purchasing paper tickets. But let’s say, your system is constantly plagued with problems, then it might be cheaper in the long run to actually build a new system that actually doesn’t have any of these stupid problems. Yes, we are talking about Myki and in the long running saga of this troubled system, thousands of cards are set to be “deactivated”.
Cards from Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo, Seymour and the La Trobe Valley – not to mention some first-adopters from Melbourne – will have their cards no longer work, as each card has a four-year life. And with the Metcard system to be scrapped by the end of this year (December 29), you would have thought the problems would have been identified and a solution would be found.
Granted, the tourist problem hasn’t been fixed yet. Giving tourists a myki and expecting them to return it is a lot to ask.
Of course, you will have the option to replace the card for free. Only problem – you’ll have to travel all the way to Southern Cross Station and visit the PTV Hub. Everyone else, you will have to purchase a brand new card for $6, fill out a form to get the cost reimbursed, then have the myki money in your old card transferred to the new one.
If you have registered your myki – you will be given a 14-day notice to tell you your card is about to expire. If you didn’t (which, admittedly, you should have – given that it makes it easier to replace a card when you have lost it), then you will see your expiry date on the Myki readers.
And to add more PR woes, it has been revealed that Myki is overcharging an average of more than 20,000 public transport users a week, or $51,000 in extra fares. $27,000 has been reimbursed, according to the website mykileaks.org.
Myki seriously needs a major rethink. These flaws are avoidable, so why haven’t they been fixed yet?
If you want to read more, I go into detail how Myki could be fixed for tourists (and also probably now this card problem) – implement NFC.