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(Aus) Myki smartcard system to roll out on trams and buses from Sunday

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Finally it's happened.

From the Heraldsun:

Myki smartcard system to roll out on trams and buses from Sunday


Stephen McMahon From: Herald Sun July 22, 2010 11:07AM 73 comments


UPDATE 3pm: THE Opposition says commuters have been taken for a ride, with the myki smartcard system finally rolling out on all public transport this Sunday.

Public Transport Minister Martin Pakula confirmed today that the system would be fully operational on trains, trams and buses from Sunday.


The troubled system is $350 million over budget and has been beset with problems ever since it failed to meet its original deadline of March 1, 2007.


Opposition Transport spokesman Terry Mulder said today's announcement was another example of the Brumby government treating commuters like mugs.


"This is about trying to kill off a negative story, it is 1212 days late and $352 million plus over budget,'' he said.


"This is a total waste of taxpayers' money.''


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Mr Mulder claims the myki system is so bad that inspectors can't check tickets and people with myki cards are travelling for free.


The Opposition says the $1.35 billion spent should have been used to pay for new trains and improved infrastructure and is seeking legal advice about potentially scrapping the system.


However, Mr Mulder refused to confirm whether the Opposition will make its position clear on myki's future ahead of the November 27 state election.


"There is a huge amount of problems within the system,'' he said.


Mr Pakula declined to reveal specifics of the system’s performance during tests on the tram network.


"Results from recent testing have demonstrated the system is now ready for customer use on trams and buses," he said.


“I am satisfied that the system is working at improved levels of reliability and the system operator Kamco has the ability to operate the expanded system.


Mr Pakula said ticket inspectors would educate most commuters about myki during this period, rather than dishing out fines to those who make honest mistakes.


“There will always be some customers that the ticket inspectors take the view are seeking to fare evade,” Mr Pakula said.


He indicated there may be another period when myki cards can be obtained for free, but until then, commuters will need to buy one for $10.


Public Transport Users Association president Daniel Bowen welcomed the roll-out of myki's next stage.


But he said the Opposition's plans to potentially scrap the system could cause a huge backlash with so much money already spent on the project.


"It has been seven odd months of trains only and people will be relieved the project is nearing completion,'' he said.


"The website was a disaster for the first few months but it is working relatively well now on trains.''


Mr Bowen doesn't expect a big disruption with the system going live on all trams and buses on Sunday as only five per cent of commuters use myki on daily basis.


Government officials estimate that 25,000 to 30,000 commuters use myki on a daily basis.


More than 450,000 myki cards have been issued, with almost 200,000 used at least once.


The Metcard and myki systems will operate concurrently until at least Easter next year, Mr Pakula said.


“The reason we didn’t go live on tram and bus in December, when we went live on train, was that there were a whole lot of customer-facing issues that weren’t satisfactory,” Mr Pakula said.


These included problems with the call centre, topping up credit and eftpos facilities.


“That’s been exactly the sort of stuff we’ve been working on over the last six months,” Mr Pakula said.


Transport Ticketing Authority chief executive Bernie Carolan said it was decided last week that myki was reliable enough to use on trams and trains.


“It doesn’t mean we think it’s absolutely perfect,” Mr Carolan said.


Mr Pakula said a date was yet to be fixed on when myki would begin operation on the regional V/Line network.


- with Ashley Gardiner






Naturally this is to counteract the bad press over the RRL announcement to the residents of houses that would of been knocked over.

But in the end it's finally good news. I do suspect monday the 5% of train travelers that use it will fly upwards.


Although one thing. Agent Mulder thinks ticket inspectors can't check tickets. Funny I had my card checked at Flinders Street by an AO with a portable reader.......

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