Photos from ten years ago, Toxic Custard newsletter

Old photos from June 2008

Here's another in my series of old photos from ten years ago... this time, June 2008. You might remember that Frank Woodley did TV ads for Metlink, to encourage bus usage. Here's the cartoon version, on a bus stop. Speaking of advertising, I quite liked this ad for the Get Smart movie (originally posted here). Come to think of it, I've still never seen the movie. Hitachi train, sporti


What if to get a Slurpie at 7-11, you first had to buy a voucher from a tram conductor?

What if to get a Slurpie at 7-11, you first had to buy a voucher from a tram conductor? Some would argue the situation now, where no tickets can be bought on trams, and Myki cards have to be bought and pre-loaded (at 7-11 or elsewhere) is equally silly. In fact, if you look at the recent (the past 30 years or so) history of public transport ticketing in Melbourne appears to show repeated


Yes, there will still be paper tickets post-Metcard — so why not offer them more widely?

This Friday is the last day for Metcard. But if you thought it was the end for paper tickets, think again. Even aside from V/Line tickets, they will live-on. As noted in today's Age, despite the claims from government that it's impossible to have paper tickets on a system that's moved to Smartcards, there are several scenarios in metropolitan areas where passengers will continue to be issued


The removal of short term tickets will bring four distinct hurdles to casual public transport use

From December 29th, a month from today, basically all metropolitan public transport will require a Myki card, following the government decision in June 2011 to not implement short term tickets. I expect regular users will adapt. Most of them already have. It's the occasional users (and that includes locals as well as tourists) who will have four significant barriers to using the system.


Charity auction: Travel like it’s 1999 – buy this pristine unvalidated Zone 1 Metcard

Back in June, when you could still buy unvalidated Metcards (eg at railway stations) I bought a Zone 1 adult daily and popped it away. I am now selling it for charity, either for those of you who want to take one last train ride with one (yeah even though you can still buy one on a bus or tram) or people who want an unvalidated Metcard for their ticket collection (and were foolish enough not to


Unvalidated Metcards can no longer be used if you can’t find a station validator

At railway stations around Melbourne, they've started removing Metcard validators as part of the final switch to Myki. In some cases, some station entrances have no Metcard validator at all now. In theory this doesn't affect many people, as it's been several months since multi-trip Metcards were sold, and also since unvalidated single trip Metcards were sold. You can now only get Metcards on tr


Metcard never did work perfectly, but there’s little visibility of Myki reliability

I think most people would agree that with Myki we've got a problem. A system which is enormously expensive, which is generally less responsive and reliable than similar systems elsewhere, not to mention not offering a single use ticket option. But one argument I don't buy is that Metcard is perfect. The bureaucracy will claim it was near, or at, end-of-life. And certainly it doesn't work perfec

Consumerism, transport

No, the law doesn’t demand that Myki accept 5 cent coins, or that Metcard machines accept notes

The question seems to keep coming up as to whether it's legal for Myki machines to not accept 5 cent coins; or indeed whether it's legal for Metcard machines on trams to only accept coins (not notes). Some people assume that because it's all legal tender, it must be against the law to demand specific currency, or otherwise limit the payment options (such as only providing a limited amount of ch


A photo of mine reused by the Myki Customer Experience Panel (but I don’t mind)

Yesterday I was taking a look at the Myki Customer Experience Panel web site -- that's the set up where they ask a cross-section of Myki users about the system; get them to answer questions about what they've seen and how things are working for them. While some may moan about the extra cost, it's tiny compared to the total budget for the system, and it's the very type of consultation we need more


A genuine benefit of Myki: Auto topup, set and forget

Myki has well-known problems. It's been an incredibly long saga to get it running, and to the point now where it's pretty reliable and the government is confident enough to push ahead with phasing-out Metcard. The cost to taxpayers has been huge. Touching on and off can be fiddly, particularly in a crowd and particularly when the readers are dodgy. And who knows what chaos will result when single