'There will be system glitches': myki users to cop penalty
October 20, 2009 - 3:22PM
Commuters using the new myki smartcard will be charged a penalty fare of $4.96 if they forget to swipe their card when leaving their train, tram or bus, the Government revealed this morning.
The project’s new spokeswoman, public relations consultant Jean Ker Walsh, said she was not aware of any projections by the Government on how much extra revenue it expected to earn from travellers who forget to swipe off.
The myki swipe-on swipe-off ticketing system will be rolled out across Melbourne’s public transport system over the next few months and into 2010.
It was due to be introduced in March 2007 and is $350 million over budget.
Today Premier John Brumby said new ticketing systems under the previous Kennett and Kirner governments had been behind schedule.
‘‘If you look at every new ticketing system in our state they have taken longer to roll out than ministers at the time originally thought,’’ he said.
‘‘They have always been difficult for governments. If you look recently at NSW, again, they had similiar problems.
‘‘I think the main thing is to get it right, the main thing is to make sure that when it’s actually introduced that it works.’’
Myki offers discounted fares to travellers who switch over from the existing Metcard ticket system.
Metcard will continue to run alongside myki for some time.
The myki card can be recharged and topped up automatically, over the phone or online.
It requires users to ‘‘touch’’ on and off or be charged the higher fare.
Ms Ker Walsh said that those that moved over to use the myki smartcard from the existing Metcard system would save money.
On current spending levels, a total of $17 million a year would be saved by public transport users in Victoria if myki was adopted and used correctly, Government figures show.
Myki automatically calculates the best fare for passengers - if they remember to touch off when exiting a train, tram or bus.
Using myki, a public transport user who swipes on and off correctly will pay $2.92 for a two-hour, zone one ticket - 78 cents less than at present.
A two-hour, zone one and two ticket will cost $4.96 - 84 cents less than at present, if the user remembers to swipe on and off.
‘‘The myki best fare system ... will ensure passengers using myki money who touch on and off only ever pay for what they use,’’ Ms Ker Walsh said.
Seniors will not be penalised for not swiping off, with the maximum they will pay using myki set at $3.30 — 10 cents less than they now pay.
The Government also revealed that travellers who want to ‘‘top up’’ their new myki public transport ticket online or via a call centre will see their money take up to 24 hours to be credited to their tickets.
The Government will still not say when the $1.3 billion myki smartcard will ‘‘go live’’ in Melbourne, although the first stage of what the Government now says will be a three-stage launch is expected in mid-November.
Myki is running three years behind schedule and $350 million over budget.
Passengers are already using the smartcard in regional Victoria, where it is running on 330 buses in regional centres, including Geelong, Bendigo and Ballarat.
Opposition Leader Ted Baillieu said he had little confidence that myki would work properly once it was launched.
‘‘We would have the same level of confidence that Victorians would have in this project. It is overdue, over-budget and it has failed all of its tests. So why would anybody have any confidence?’’ he said.
‘‘The likelihood is that those that use myki are going to be charged extra if they don’t recognise they haven’t swiped their card off properly. It is likely to cost commuters a good deal of money,’’ he said.
Asked to reassure the public that there would not be any overcharging or other errors made when myki launched, Ms Ker Walsh said: ‘‘I am not going to give unrealistic guarantees on behalf of myki.’’
‘‘What we have got here is a smart system, that is going to be very strongly welcomed as it rolls out in Melbourne. (But) there will be system glitches, partly because the system is getting up to full speed with more than 1 million customers that we are expecting within a matter of months,’’ she said.
‘‘People will also misunderstand and do the wrong thing,’’ she said, and this was why the Government had set up a call centre and systems to rectify any problems as soon as possible.
Ms Ker Walsh said that Government focus groups had shown that Melburnians were looking forward to using the new card.
There will also be a new $3 weekend fare launched.
One-thousand Government users will be trialling the new card over the next month.This story was found at: http://www.theage.com.au/national/there-will-be-system-glitches-myki-users-to-cop-penalty-20091020-h605.html