Hey Myki, your so fine.

For many a year now, I have been obviously on the case of Myki. My Facebook friends have certainly sought my thoughts, but I really get the same arguments time in and time again. Why can’t we get it to work in Melbourne? People think I’m a Myki lover, well no. It’s delayed, over-budget and a political nightmare. But we deal with it.

I had commented in response to the general: ‘why couldn’t we get Oyster;’ or, ‘Octopus is the same;’ and, ‘my dinner is getting cold.’

Chris Tagle: Find me a multi-modal, integrated, both metropolitan and regional, multi-zonal, time-based (not ride-based) ticketing system.

Someone had pointed out Oyster Card. I was actually thinking Presto, which I had used while transiting in Toronto, Canada.

My commentary as follows:

I foresaw numerous flaws with Myki when it first rolled out. I was able to test it prior to it going online in 2009. I had established a set of concerns and best case solutions which were purely hypothetical at the time. Some of these modifications to the network had since been adapted by sheer coincidence (by both governments) i.e., the removal of ‘touching off on trams,’ and removing the extended regional rollout. (I also credit some more local government transport strategies which I also had a part to play).

There have been some critical concerns in the tender process, on how Kamco participated in the Labor government’s ‘New Ticketing System’ pre-tender process. There has been commentary that they should have not been able to tender for this. I preferred Thales, merely based on their organization being established business in Melbourne and a decent profile.  See: Mykintegrity needs topping up.

But you are incorrect on a significant point, which is why Melbourne has a particularly unique situation in the world. It is also why claimants of “why can’t we just use Oyster” is really never as simple as that. In fact Melbourne’s plan was quite ambitious when I first looked at it in detail.

The network topology and architecture is vastly different to Oyster. The fare system is completely different.

It is not integrated as you suggested. But what do I mean?

Firstly, let me refer to 2 hour tickets as ‘2 hour caps.’ In Melbourne, you are charged for use in a particular zone with the charges capped to either 2 hours or for the whole day based on which zones your travel, which essentially simplifies ticketing to make it only:
– each mode runs on identical zone that are geographically based;
– your fare doesn’t need to take into account mode; and,
– is biased towards charging per time on network (capping to either 2 hours, or daily.)

This differs as in London as,
– each mode has it’s own zone system; and,
– each zone (respective to it’s mode) has a unique fare structure.
– is biased towards charging per journey still. (Single Trip or Return)

Or in many other jurisdictions globally:
– each trip cost a fixed amount, to which there are no caps.

The Melbourne model, is the much harder logic to play with in a complex computer system (and by the looks of it, to execute), but is by far easier to use and predict (though I doubt users feel this). Well maybe except for the other stock option of charging every time you use it.

Under existing Myki architecture, we would have had Zone 1 to Z. Plus AA – II (if you wanted to get technical) Zone 1 being inner Melbourne, Zone Z being outskirts of regional victoria like say Albury. (Actually Albury IIRC was Zone V.)

The sheer scale would certainly would make this wordclass and an impressive feat, but will not happen. Based on the Liberal governments view and one that I saw myself too as the project dragged along, it was a responsible cut to this part program.


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