So apparently the installation of GPS equipment to track buses stop-by-stop in realtime hasn’t helped Myki zone detection at all.
On Tuesday at lunchtime I caught a bus from Queensbridge Street (aka Casino East, the brand new tram/bus platform stop) to Queen Street.
It’s all within 1 kilometre of the city centre — about as far from zone 2 as you can get. And it’s on a route with realtime information, so at least some of the equipment in the bus knows almost precisely where it is.
So, what happened? Myki charged me for a zone 2 fare.
It thought I was in Brighton, in the zone overlap area.
It seems to have got the route number right. “out” indicates it thought it was an outbound trip, though given it’s a crosstown route, I have no idea that’s correct or not. Perhaps they should have different indicators for crosstown routes, such as “se”/”nw”?
The silver lining is that the zone 1 fare cap meant I was charged the correct amount for the day’s travel: a total of $7.52.
(I normally use a Yearly Pass, but it’s run out, so I’m using Myki Money for a while.)
Zone detection on buses (and trams) has been a problem for years, and it’s only the zone changes in January that have hidden the issue for Melbourne users, but it remains a problem on regional town buses — there are regular reports of overcharging.
Clearly it’s is something they still need to work on.
Oh, and the new platform stop? Nice, though some of the bus drivers seem a little uncertain about how close to the platform edge they should stop. The bus/tram lanes seem quite effective at helping them get past the traffic.
And I wonder if, when commissioned, the realtime screens there will show bus as well as tram?