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(AUS)Myki vending machines scrapped from trams

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From The Age:

Myki vending machines scrapped from trams


Clay Lucas

June 22, 2011


PASSENGERS will be unable to buy tickets aboard trams after the myki system becomes fully operational across Melbourne at the end of next year, Premier Ted Baillieu has revealed.

The decision means myki vending machines for 500 trams, bought by the former Labor government in 2007 for several million dollars, will never be used.


After years of criticism of myki, Mr Baillieu yesterday highlighted the advantages of smartcards, and pledged to resolve myki's many issues.


One of those issues was overcharging, which had occurred on one in 10 cards, he said.


''The system has been plagued with problems, including with the website, including top-up and accounting, checking processes, power outages, cards that were sent to dead people,'' Mr Baillieu said.


''It's our job to fix the problems. We are going to fix it.''


Despite the problems, the company selected by the previous government to build the smartcard in 2005, Kamco, will not be sacked. Instead, it will earn more from taxpayers.


Mr Baillieu said his government had begun renegotiating the contract with Kamco, which was last year bought by Japan's NTT Data. He would not disclose how much extra the government expected to pay Kamco.


After multiple delays and blowouts, the cost of myki to the public was calculated at $1.35 billion over 10 years, including operational costs. Of this, Mr Baillieu said $757 million had already been spent.


Dumping myki would have cost far more, he said. ''To scrap the system would have taken a billion-dollar-plus hit to Victorian taxpayers.''


The old Metcard system will operate across Melbourne until the end of next year, after which all commuters will need myki cards. Myki will not be installed on long-haul V/Line trains and coaches as planned, but will eventually be valid for travel on trains to Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo, Seymour and Traralgon. Short-term myki tickets will still be available from some outlets, but not on trams.


Asked yesterday if removing ticket vending machines from trams would hurt commuters, Mr Baillieu said: ''Buying tickets off vehicles is the way around the world, so that is what we would expect to happen.''


The government would increase the places where tickets could be bought, he said.


Yarra Trams supports the change. Removing ticket vending machines from trams will reduce the tram company's costs, boost space for passengers and reduce fare evasion issues by eliminating a key reason given for not buying a ticket.


Rail, Tram and Bus Union secretary Trevor Dobbyn criticised the myki decision, saying the government had ''wasted six months and millions of dollars to deliver less''.


Greens MP Greg Barber said removing vending machines from trams made passengers ''work a lot harder for effectively the same service''. ''Tram lines are very extensive and the places where you can buy a ticket aren't,'' he said. ''Put conductors on every tram; they would be self-funding by reducing fare evasion to nearly zero.''


Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/myki-vending-machines-scrapped-from-trams-20110621-1gdkz.html#ixzz1PyNyBJVc


I don't know who's idea it was but it's only the world's most dumbest. There's only a few tram stops that have CVMs The rest don't. Some tram stops are in the middle of nothing.

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