After many years of using their Metcards, Melbournians (Melbournites?) will embark on one of their greatest journeys yet, the journey of the myki. Melbourne has upped their public transport game and have made the final move to a new ticketing system. Having just gotten back from Melbourne and the surrounding suburbs a couple of days ago, I can tell you that many people do not like the change and are constantly belittling the myki system. But I urge you, please be patient with myki and you will learn to accept it if not love it.
The old public transport system in Melbourne used Metcards, part paper/part cardboard slips that were encoded with a the barcode that corresponds with your travel. You could purchase a Metcard for a single journey, for travel through multiple zones, or for multiple trips through multiple zones.
Myki's are kind of like gift cards on which you place a certain dollar amount. You 'touch on' at the beginning of your journey and 'touch off' at the end. You may have to touch on and off multiple times if you are using multiple types of transport, i.e. you touch on at the train station, touch off when you leave, touch on when you get on the tram, and then touch off when you arrive at your destination. The myki readers work out the travel times and zones between when you touch on and when you touch off, and the fare is deducted accordingly.
There are a number of advantages of the myki over the Metcard, which I will reveal later on, but there is one main disadvantage of changing the public transport system entirely. Commuters in Melbourne will only be able to use myki from now on. If you use public transport every day or once a year, you are required to purchase a myki card.
Queensland have rolled out their Go Card systems that are designed to stop the use of paper tickets, but paper tickets still exist. If you seldom use public transport then you don't have to worry about purchasing a Go Card, you can simply purchase a one way ticket at any ticket counter. There are many benefits to Go Cards; the fares are cheaper when you use one, you don't have to wait in line to purchase a ticket, and you no longer have to worry about being charged too much for your journey or accidentally buying the wrong ticket.
But apart from moving everyone to a myki no matter how infrequently they travel, myki is a great thing.
How many tram travellers have witnessed others scramble to stay afoot while feeding all of their change into a Metcard machine? How many times have commuters had to buy replacement Metcards because theirs have been damaged in the wash? How many times have you accidentally purchased a Metcard through the wrong zone or for the wrong time frame? Myki solves these issues.
Another benefit of the myki is that it can be registered. You don't have to worry about losing the card or the value because once you tell PTV (Public Transport Victoria) that the card is lost or stolen it (the card) will automatically be cancelled and the balance moved to a new card. Registering your card also means that you can keep a track of your journeys and set an auto top up from your credit card to ensure that you always have enough funds for your travels.
You might be thinking, well that's all well and good for you Kathy but I don't live in Melbourne and only travel by train once or twice a year. Myki is useless for me!
Well, before you go making accusations you must know that I don't live in Melbourne. I don't even live in Victoria. Readers of my blog will be aware that I travel to Melbourne every year for the Armageddon Expo. Usually I stay in a hotel close to the venue but cost forced me and my friends to take a place further away. It would have taken around 45 minutes to walk to the convention centre, but luckily the hotel was on a tram line. My friends and I purchased a myki visitor pack that included a myki card as well as a map, discounts to a whole heap of attractions, and instructions on how to use both the myki and Melbourne public transport as a whole. We found the myki very easy and we only had to add around $5 of additional funds for our whole stay. We ended up taking the tram throughout zone one multiple times over the four days we were in the city.
Another bonus to the myki is that the funds on the card are secure for at least four years. Since they don't run out or expire by a certain deadline you can feel free to only use the myki once a day or once a year without having to worry about using up all of your funds. You just have to make sure you have enough money on the card, but you can put money on via the myki website or any one of over 800 services throughout Melbourne.
I apologise if this post was long and boring to most of you. I am not endorsed or affiliated with PTV or myki in any way. This is just an opinion post, and this is my opinion.
I look forward to reading comments by my Melbourne friends over this!
Themes: myki, public transport, Victoria, Melbourne, myki card, Metcard
Links: http://ptv.vic.gov.au/, http://ptv.vic.gov.au/fares-tickets/myki/, http://www.myki.com.au/