A Postscript to Myki

Dear Myki,

On the very day I wrote to you expressing my frustration and disappointment with your performance, the state government announced it decided not to get rid of you after all. This means it’s just you and me kiddo and a million or so other passengers, so we have to learn to live with each other.

You really need to pick up the pace because I know a lot of people haven’t been using you simply because you’re too slow and no one likes to wait in a queue. And the queues will only get longer when Metcard is switched off and you are no longer an option but a mandate.

Others won’t go near you because they think you are likely to charge them incorrectly. And justifiably so. I must admit I have not had a problem with this, because I use the Myki Pass which does not need to calculate the best fare on an ad hoc basis, unlike Myki Money. As you know Myki Money is sensitive to the time and location of Touch On/Off events. Location applies especially for trams and buses because we can touch on and off literally anywhere on the route, not just at the stops. If this was more accurate your fare calculation would be less error prone. I don’t know what the solution is. Maybe people need to learn how you work, become familiar with your idiosyncrasies, and simply learn to be more tolerant of change. Just saying.

One Myki feature I do like is the ability to buy any number of days from 28 to 365. As a Mon-Fri commuter I found a neat little trick to save a tiny amount of money is to buy 33 days on a Myki Pass, start using it on a Monday and it expires at the end of Friday on the 5th week, saving me 2 days if I repeat the process the next month. If I buy 28 days I pay for 2 days I may not use. With Metcard you get one calendar month regardless. At least with Myki I have a choice. It’s also useful when approaching public holidays. I really appreciated the ability to line up my Myki Pass around Easter.

Myki, I’m happy and willing to do my bit to make this work. Now that you will be the only ticket system in Melbourne, will you please do your bit to make me a less frustrated commuter? It shouldn’t be difficult. But sadly it has been and now you have no choice. So I hope to see you at the party.

Your Sincerely,

Richard.

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