Dear TTA: You really must put in more Myki readers at Mckinnon station

I haven’t had time to step off the train myself, but thanks to the miracle of slow-motion, here’s the queue for the only Myki reader on the main platform at Mckinnon last night.

It appears there are six people queuing up, plus another using the reader. I see about that many queuing every PM-peak these days, and no doubt it’ll climb in coming weeks as people’s weekly and monthly Metcards expire and they have to switch to Myki.

And who knows what happens when that reader is out of service.

Last I heard more readers wouldn’t be installed at this location until midyear. Ridiculous. It’s not even as if there’s a lack of space, as this photo clearly shows.

Seriously, if they have any interest in making the transition to Myki less painful and annoying to passengers at Mckinnon, the Transport Ticketing Authority needs to fix this now.

Bonus

In the background you get to see the Long Island (Hastings) freight train come through. Yes, every weekday evening, right in the middle of rush hour, it passes through all the level crossings of the Frankston line, helping to add to traffic congestion, particularly at Glenhuntly, where it slows to a crawl to go over the tram crossing.

We’ll know the government are serious about finding cheap easy solutions to traffic congestion when this train is re-scheduled.

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12 Replies to “Dear TTA: You really must put in more Myki readers at Mckinnon station”

  1. According to the head of myki it only takes one second per person to touch on/off at a reader, so there should be no problem. (Ha ha!)

  2. The placement and number of readers on platforms seems almost to have been drawn from a hat in some cases. In some places it’s been extremely sensibly done, in others its clearly a ridiculous situation.

    Eg, Prahran, platform 2. They’ve put in a second exit with more myki readers, as the tiny original entrance is clearly going to cause congestion when the full switch to myki occurs. They’ve obviously spent a great deal of money on this new entrance and it’s going to make the lives of Prahran station uses much easier. I’d give TTA (or whoever made the decision to do this) 10/10 for what they’ve done in this instance.

    Hawthorn, my station. Originally there were 2 readers on the down (outbound) platforms 2 & 3, and one of them was in a very stupid position, though that was more because of the location of the existing metcard reader. Then they installed four more readers on platforms 2 and 3, making a grand total of 6. Two of them are on either side of a gate which is locked. I’ve tweeted both metrotrains and mykimate asking them to open the gate, but nothing’s happened. The gate is tied shut with cable ties, I think I’m going to take a pair of scissors and open it myself. (I must take a picture of this for PTUA problem of the day).

    Meanwhile platform1 at Hawthorn only has two readers, however I’d say almost as many people exit there as they do on platforms 2 & 3 (via a pedestrian staircase over the railway line). It would be great if they would expand the entrance just a little bit, or even make a new entrance like they’ve done at Prahran.

  3. This is an issue at North Melbourne station also – the station entrance becomes extremely congested during peak as often one of the two readers is non-operational, and incoming passengers must fight a tide of commuters transferring from their train to the 401 Melbourne Uni bus.

    Hopefully once the Metcard readers are removed they will be replaced with additional Myki readers.

    Another questionable outcome is the decision to only have one Myki topup machine at North Melbourne. Given that any transaction using EFTPOS takes quite a while there is regularly a long queue, particularly during peak. Surely an inner-city station with significant traffic volumes deserves a second?

  4. Not to mention that many suburban readers often seem out of service – even when there’s two. Does anyone know if you can ‘touch off’ at a platform reader in the opposite direction of travel (ie – leaving city both readers are out, you walk over to the city inbound platform and touch off there…?)

    The process for checking (online) if you’ve been overcharged for going out of zone is tedious, and then to have to call up later and request a refund just adds to the administrative burden.

    It’s a reason to move to a pass, but whether that’s an option for many is in doubt. Further, those most likely to need to touch off are those most likely to be unfamiliar with the processes required to check if you’ve been overcharged and requesting a refund.

  5. I think it would be prudent to delay the installation of any more Myki readers until they update the design to make them work properly (i.e. like Oyster readers). I had been under the impression that Myki readers were so slow because they were communicating over a slow link to the Myki database. But now that I know they do no such thing, and only send data to the database every so often (or perhaps once a day), there is no longer an excuse for them to work so badly.

    New readers (and replacement cards, if necessary, since they seem to last only 12 months anyway) need to be capable of reading cards through jacket pockets, in less than a tenth of a second, without being confused by nearby credit cards. After that’s sorted out, it will be time to provide more readers at stations. There’s no point buying more of the junk we have now.

  6. @Aaron, good point re: North Melbourne. Note that at some stage all the Metcard vending machines will be replaced with Myki machines.

    @Dave, I think it should work if you go to another platform. The readers seem to know they’re all in a bloc.

    @Philip, the hardware is pretty standard stuff. The issue with response times seems to be the software, so they could rollout more units to ameliorate the situation, and patch the software when they’re ready.

    @DogGunn, you appear to have misunderstood the problem.

  7. Docklands seems to be dead – even along the roads with trams and despite the City Circle service going through it all. Etihad Stadium and Southern Cross station act as a barrier to the city and thats how it has stayed, so it seems

  8. sorry … my slow internet has been a clack behind and I have placed this on the wrong blog post … should be under the Bourke Street one!!

  9. The Age today has an article with the head of TTA saying we have to change behaviour and that, by extension, all the lineups are silly customers fault.
    Typically bureaucratic response – it’s not our fault it’s the user’s fault. Obviously he doesn’t have to endure the crush at the Southern Cross northern exit in the morning.

    I find that the Frankenbarriers vary greatly in response time, and it only takes people a few times to work out about the touch on, touch off thing.

    How long will the debacle continue?

  10. Below are Nathan’s comments about Hawthorn station from almost 12 months ago and the only thing that has changed is the extra gates on platforms 2 & 3 are open! This morning there was a crowd of about 30-40 people trying to get in and out of Platform 1 because the 2 readers were on a “go slow”! Fortunately the trains go at about 10 minute intervals so that those who missed the first one were likely to get through in time for the next.

    “Hawthorn, my station. Originally there were 2 readers on the down (outbound) platforms 2 & 3, and one of them was in a very stupid position, though that was more because of the location of the existing metcard reader. Then they installed four more readers on platforms 2 and 3, making a grand total of 6. Two of them are on either side of a gate which is locked. I’ve tweeted both metrotrains and mykimate asking them to open the gate, but nothing’s happened. The gate is tied shut with cable ties, I think I’m going to take a pair of scissors and open it myself. (I must take a picture of this for PTUA problem of the day).

    Meanwhile platform1 at Hawthorn only has two readers, however I’d say almost as many people exit there as they do on platforms 2 & 3 (via a pedestrian staircase over the railway line). It would be great if they would expand the entrance just a little bit, or even make a new entrance like they’ve done at Prahran.”

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