Myki is Melbourne’s new public transport ticketing system. It is a smart card system similar in intended function to London’s Oyster Card and Hong Kong’s Octopus. It is a smart card system similar in speed to a brick built into the base of your house. No, that’s a little unfair. When the reader actually does read your card it gives you just enough time to read the entire Myki user guide before it’s finished.
I was reminded this week when the old Metcard gates were being pulled out to make room for the new Myki gates, that Metcard will be leaving us for good at the end of the year. Which means we will have no choice but to use Myki, so we may as well get used to it. I’ve been using Myki for a couple f years now and I thought it was a good time to offer some tips on using one of the payment options – The Myki Pass.
The Myki Pass
Metcard had a weekly ticket which gave you seven consecutive days of travel in your chosen zones (1 or 2, big choice). It also offered a monthly ticket. You get one calendar month’s worth of travel so you tend to feel ripped off in February.
So people don’t feel too alienated with the change-over, Myki also offer periodical tickets in the form of a Pass where you can buy any number of consecutive days of travel, which start when you first touch on at a snail-like Myki reader. Any number of days as long as it’s exactly seven or anything from 28 to 365. That’s right, you used to be able to buy a yearly Metcard, too.
Depending on how certain you are of travelling every day for the rest of the week, month or year, and what amount your wallet will not cringe at, you could take your pick at the number of days to buy.
If you’re not sure about the week after this one, a 7-day Myki pass could be the go. If your need for travel approaches 3 weeks or more consider a 28-day pass rather than several 7 days passes. Why the gap between 7 and 28? *Shrug*
At first glance you might think why would I get a yearly ticket when I’ll probably take 4 weeks of annual leave plus 10 days of public holidays during the year? And being in Australia, all 10 of your allowed sick days? Well, in their wisdom, Myki will give you up to 40 days for free if you buy a 365-day pass. In fact the price tops out at 325 days so any days above 325 are free. So when you assume the 4 weeks (20 days) leave and the 10 Melbourne public holidays are consecutive, the 5 weekends in between add up to your 40 “free” days. Or you can ignore the weekends and count the sick days, it’s up to you. Either way, 40 free days? You’re not winning, you’re breaking even.
Anything in Between
(Except 2 or 3 week passes – because no one in Melbourne would ever travel for those particular lengths of time. Apparently.)
This is where you can really go wild. It just needs a little planning ahead. If I’ve a got a good straight run of months before any holidays I buy 33 days at a time which takes me from Monday week 1 to Friday of week 5. Then I don’t have to pay for every 5th weekend. See? A tight-arse’s dream!
If holidays are approaching you can stretch the passes to take you right up to the holiday without having to get less than 28 days worth of travel on the more expensive Myki Money or a 7 day pass.
With a little fore-thought Myki Passes can be quite efficient.
Now, if only the card readers would work as fast as the trains themselves. Oh, then again…