Two weeks ago I noted that Myki mostly works. In most cases the charging is fine. The readers seem more reliable and mostly fairly responsive (and faster than inserting a Metcard into a slot and waiting for it to come out again).
What doesn’t work? Well buses in particular have issues, it seems. As this video shows, some readers don’t beep loudly enough or are silent, one bus got the zone wrong, and we found one dead reader.
The zone problem
The zone problem is partly due to the prolonged transition between Metcard and Myki. In my case it caused a $1.10 overcharge (instead of a $5.88 Zone 1 daily fare, I ended up with a $4.04 Zone 2 daily fare, plus a $2.94 Zone 1 two-hour fare), and I requested a refund. When it was granted, it was accompanied by this explanation in the email:
As we move to a new ticketing system, Metcard and myki will operate alongside each other for a period of time and this is the case on all buses. Because buses don’t have all of the myki equipment just yet, the system can’t pick up a bus’s location as accurately as it will be able to when everything is installed and as a result of this a bus can sometimes charge a different fare.
To be precise, the bus driver is unable to enter the route and direction, which would give the equipment a little more information to be able to correctly detect which zone it’s in.
This is very rare and is only expected to impact people who travel near zone boundaries and overlap zones and in most cases you will be charged a lower fare. We are working to rectify this issue as soon as possible but in the mean time, we do request that you contact us to organise any reimbursements that may be needed.
This issue was first found on the very first day of Myki operation on buses. I have noticed it is occurring less frequently than it was back then, but it’s still a problem, and it means people like me who use buses near the zone boundaries need to watch carefully for it until it’s properly fixed — or, in all likelihood, until the Metcard equipment is gone… if it happens, of course. I’m just glad I’m not a very frequent bus user in this area… I usually walk to the station. It would be a pain if it was part of your daily commute.
Dead readers are still around, but I would say becoming less common. But there are reports of some (brand new?) buses out in service with no Myki readers at all.
Beeps not being loud enough (and being the same for both touch-on and touch-off) is something that’s been highlighted for months now, but still not fixed.
So does it work?
As I said earlier, it mostly works. The zone problem is peculiar to buses near zone boundaries (and the Transport Ticketing Authority must be cursing the fact that I live near a zone boundary).
It’s probably worth noting that Commuter Club Yearly tickets have already made the switch to Myki, and periodicals like this are the least likely to have issues, particularly for people who never catch buses near zone boundaries. Even forgetting to touch-off isn’t a problem, as periodicals do not incur a default (“we assume you went to the end of the line”) fare like Myki Money (pay as you go) users do.
As it happens, Marita’s Yearly ticket (which she started using in December) stopped working last week. Will be interested to see if it is replaced with a Myki.