Melbourne’s Myki Havoc


Melbourne’s integrated ticketing disaster just keeps getting worse.

Victoria’s opposition MP Terry Mulder is good at digging into the state’s official information act and has now uncovered the astonishing fact that since the system -known as myki- was introduced, public transport revenue has declined!

He says myki, already at least $350 million over budget and more than three years late, “is now hemorrhaging with Victorian taxpayers left to foot the bill.”

It was common on the state’s regional buses for drivers have to just wave passengers on without paying because their myki card malfunctioned.

And the latest quarterly report from the state’s transport ombudsman says its office is overwhelmed with complaints about myki.

54% of those complaints are related to “service issues” - such as delays in myki account transactions and automatic top ups, and problems in setting up and registering a myki account.  31% of complaints come under “ticketing,” such as issues with refunds and replacement myki cards. 4% of the complaints were to do with the ticket vending machines.

The system is being used on Melbourne’s trains but not yet on the city’s trams and buses and the government still won’t say when that happens.

A recent poll on a Melbourne website in which thousands gave their opinion on myki saw an overwhelming 70% rate it the worst rating possible- abysmal.

Auckland’s integrated ticketing - in no way related to myki but being done by Thales nationwide, continues to be on track for introduction next year and in 2012.




  1. Brad H says:

    The problems in Melbourne appear to be a disaster, however, in Sydney they have just changed all the bus, ferry and train fares and have managed to pull it off without a hitch. Just because Melbourne can’t get it right should not be seen as a bad omen for Auckland.

  2. Nick R says:

    Jon, it’s not quite accurate to refer to this as “Melbourne’s integrated ticketing disaster”. Melbourne has had a very successful zone based integrated ticketing system and fare structure for over two decades now.

    The only purpose of Myki is to replace the older metcard magnetic swipe system as it’s car readers and ticket machines are coming to the end of their design life. The project is simply a case of replacing the magnetic card system with a contactless card system.No one really asked for this, it is basically a technical upgrade gone wrong.

    They claim that the ‘complexity’ of Melbourne’s fares structure required a custom built system, but this is obviously spin as Melbourne actually has one of the simplest fare structres in the world. Far more simple than those of Perth or Brisbane for example. Yet even now, they are further simplifying the structure to make it fit the card, not the other way around! Ironically now with these further simplifications they have effectively wasted hundreds of million to develop system capacity that will never be used!

    The actual cause of this debacle is government corruption, plain and simple.
    Instead of getting an experienced contractor like Thales to install off the shelf equipment they decided to give it to a company (Keane Consortium) that had never installed an RFiD system before and have no other interests in either transportation or IT infrastructure. Why? Because the chair of the selection panel had a large shareholding in Keane, and decided to award his company the contract so they could use Victorian public funds to develop a new business product from the ground up.

  3. Jon C says:

    @Nick R Thanks for the background

  4. Stranded on the North Shore says:

    Hi Jon, I spotted new attachments on buses around North Shore and City (NZ Bus)- one on the right pole in the front, just as you enter the bus, the other by the back door. Would that be Snapper coming, you reckon?

  5. Jon C says:

    @Stranded interesting. They still plan to come here this year but haven’t heard plans are that advanced. The head of Snapper reads this site so I am sure he will tell us if they are.

  6. max says:

    Still, one hope that Thales is looking over their shoulder to make sure that they aren’t making the same mistakes - though the added info is encouraging, if this really is just the result of using an untested company for a multi-mega-million job rather than giving the job to an “old hand” so to speak.


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