bramt Deputy Commissioner

Wait, it costs the TTA for shops to sell & topup mykis? Wha?

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  XAM2175 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Glasgow
Well, the retailers aren't charging a commission on the service or recovering the cost of the hardware or anything else from the customer in any other way, so TTA / PTV are going to end up paying in one way or another.
  Gwiwer Rt Hon Gentleman and Ghost of Oliver Bulleid

Location: Loitering in darkest Somewhere
It costs the ticketing service provider to purchase (or lease) the hardware and software, to supply and fit point of sale equipment in retail outlets and to print and supply explanatory literature.  It also costs their time to train staff in the ways of Myki.  And none of that comes cheap.

Which returns me to a question I asked when Metcard came in.  Why can we not simply let those people who already work on the system and tend to know it pretty well manage revenue collection.  I'm talking bus drivers and station staff and - in a more customer-focussed world - tram conductors.  In today's environment any concerns about cash security can be significantly reduced by offering electronic transactions.  We have touch and go cards which take only a short time to handle almost any transaction likely to be needed on the network (i.e. under $100) and while those transactions take longer than a Myki or mag-strip read nor everyone pays cash every time to travel.  Your precious pre-purchase and popular periodical tickets can still co-exist and could be purchased by online order, at staffed railway stations and key regional tourist information hubs.

You have then avoided the need to divert would-be users away from the transport network to first buy a ticket at a milk bar; my Metcard query was why do I need to go to a milk bar to buy a tram ticket when I don't go to a tram to buy milk?

Costs escalate significantly when multiple staff have to be trained for each retail outlet yet those staff might manage a mere handful of transactions in a day - or even in a week.  That surely is not cost efficient.  With a system costing us $1.5b over its lifetime (and rising) and which is being de-specced and down-tweaked still in increasingly desperate attempts to make it do something like what was promised of it (namely one ticket for all of Victoria - which it isn't and now never will be) I would expect costs to be placed under close scrutiny and effective savings made at every opportunity.
  sas85 Chief Commissioner

Location: V1
Revenue, I've been reading the myki threads for some time now and until recently have had a pretty smooth ride with the system.. But since moving to Geelong (Norlane to be exact) I've had a persistent problem where no matter what, I am not charged a daily fare from travel in the Z3/4 overlap into Z4 and back later in the day. In the morning I am charged $2.10, in the evening I am charged $2.10. It appears that the advertised price of a $3.82 daily cap just doesn't exist in the system. I am at my wits end submitting forms or calling and speaking to someone who finds my issue to complex to understand for each and every day I set foot on a bus. Given I currently have 6 separate claims for reimbursement on top of 4 settled claims I believe some sort of compensation for time lost filling in forms and being put on hold for a glaringly obvious system fault is soon something I'm deserving of. Last months phone bill alone showed in excess of 40 minutes of my time spent on the phone sorting these issues out. Unfortunately for me I don't have a fixed workplace and a pass (not that they  are available in Zone 3/4 anyway, if the North Geelong machine is functioning correctly) is not an option as I have erratic travel habits due to working in a number of different locations.

For the sake of my mental health and leisure time can this bug be fixed!?
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
It's not like the semi-trailler was just thrown out!  Razz  It was sold when it was no longer needed - which was always the plan.  Cheaper to buy it and sell it rather than rent one.  And it did go to the Royal Melbourne Show and a number of other locations.

And as we've talked about before, you're including an awful lot of maintenance when you talk about $1.5B - which would have had to occur with Metcard if the decision had been made to keep the system and replace bits and pieces of the system as they became life expired. It is worth mentioning that Metcard could never have coped with the patronage increases that have occured.  For example, all the new barriers at Flinders Street would have had to go in regardless of whether it was Metcard or myki. Same with the additional barriers at a lot of other stations.
Revenue
Nice try but it was still a huge waste of money, although I do appreciate that these are trifling sums for the TTA.  It went to the Royal Show then, so how much did that work out to, $150,000 a day for a fully-kitted out semi-trailer?  Bargain.

I recall Peter Bachelor saying at the time of signing the Myki contract (about ten years ago) that if they put staff back on stations and conductors back on trams then the cost of an adult daily Zone One would have to rise to $7.00.  Here we are and an adult daily is $7.00 and instead of staff we have quite possibly the most user-unfriendly ticketing system in the country as per some of the comments in the last page about lack of interface and functionality.  Was there ever any serious cost-comparison done of returning staff to the system or did they arbitrarily decide that anyone silly enough to use public transport should be punished with a compulsory debit card?  I'm guessing the latter.

It's a shame because I bet we wouldn't have needed the PSO program if staff had returned to the system, going with the staffing option may have actually saved money in the longer term.

Perhaps I shouldn't be so negative.  Twice this week I've boarded a 220 bus and all three validators were in different stages of broken.  So myki really does save me money, just like the propaganda says!
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
For the sake of my mental health and leisure time can this bug be fixed!?
sas85

People who are unhappy about these over-charging problems need to understand that this is an instance where the customers need to meet the requirements of the system, not the other way around.  Clearly from your long list of actions the TTA either don't believe there's a problem or they secretly blame you for doing something wrong.  I think the best thing is accept that it's your fault for expecting it to work properly and just add myki to the list of reasons for buying a new car.
  Gwiwer Rt Hon Gentleman and Ghost of Oliver Bulleid

Location: Loitering in darkest Somewhere
Melbourne has had three successive systems where the customer is required to meet the system needs.  Scratchies, Metcard and now Myki can all be considered user-unfriendly systems in that they are designed around the system and not the customer.  That none of them fully delivered what was intended (scratchies, for example, didn't have the year on them so a good many were retained and used on the same date in a later year) suggests to a half-awake brain that something is fundamentally wrong with the decision-making process.  

That we have not learned from previous mistakes - or if lessons nave been learned they have not been applied - is inexcusable.  Myki embraces current technology but has been seriously flawed from day one.  

Victoria is spending an obscene amount of money on a partially-functional system which is manifestly incapable of delivering what was promised.  Large amounts of the hardware lie idle namely tram CVM equipment meaning it is no longer possible to purchase a ticket on a tram despite the hardware being stored ready to fit.  Metcard portable readers were similarly never used but were bought and kept fully charged and ready to go for the duration of the system.

We have reached the point at which Peter Bachelor had suggested the cost of a daily fare balances the cost of redeploying station and tramway staff though we have to factor in inflation and suggest that cost equated to today's values might be for an $8 daily cap rather than a $7 daily ticket.  The cost of Z1/2 travel has been well above that level for some years now.

Returning staff to the system will benefit more that just revenue collection.  Presence of staff can deter unruly and antisocial behaviour and gives the option for someone on the spot to summon 000 assistance if required without delay.  It offers security and confidence to the passenger and offers that which we (and other cities) have turned out back on namely face-to-face customer service.  

Our railways (suburban and country) are under strain from record patronage.  Is it fair to expect drivers, currently the only staff member for miles around on the suburban network in many cases, to cope with every emergency thrown their way?  Could network delays be reduced if an unwell passenger were assisted off a train to be placed in the care of a member of station staff (which isn't suitable in all cases but would assist in many minor situations) allowing the train on its way and easing delays to all those behind?  

And given that Bracks felt it appropriate to fund on-tram staff whose presence instantly generated positive results and feedback why can we not continue with that initiative?  Again is it fair to expect a driver to manage any emergency, answer any number of questions (typically "where / how do I buy a ticket?) which causes avoidable delay and still deliver everyone safely to their destination?

Looking at the bigger picture I believe we cannot afford to ignore the need for many more customer-facing staff.  Their primary role might be revenue protection and collection but simply being there suggests to the customer that questions can be answered, complex travel enquiries usually handled face to face, emergency situations dealt with and that the system is SAFE.  Far more safe than seeing armed guards about the place who can do little more than p*** people off or arrest them if necessary.
  sas85 Chief Commissioner

Location: V1
People who are unhappy about these over-charging problems need to understand that this is an instance where the customers need to meet the requirements of the system, not the other way around.  Clearly from your long list of actions the TTA either don't believe there's a problem or they secretly blame you for doing something wrong.  I think the best thing is accept that it's your fault for expecting it to work properly and just add myki to the list of reasons for buying a new car.
"don_dunstan"


Maybe with all the cheques rolling in I will be able to buy a new car! I've given up on the system. The refund is .38c, I use the reply paid address to post my claim, and request my reimbursement to be in the form of a cheque, which of course requires a return letter and I assume a fee from the bank just to issue the cheque. I don't bundle claims in the one enevelope either. Each claim is a seperate claim, and therefore seperate envelope. This bug costs the TTA more to refund than the actual claim itself.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
....
Victoria is spending an obscene amount of money on a partially-functional system which is manifestly incapable of delivering what was promised.  Large amounts of the hardware lie idle namely tram CVM equipment meaning it is no longer possible to purchase a ticket on a tram despite the hardware being stored ready to fit.  Metcard portable readers were similarly never used but were bought and kept fully charged and ready to go for the duration of the system.
....
Gwiwer

THIS part in particular smacks of not caring at all about the people who are forced to use it; as if they take delight in projects failing because then it gives them an excuse to waste even more money employing consultants to find out why people hate it.  The sunk capital cost of buying the machines was the most expensive part - why would you buy them and then not install them?  The only explanation I can think of is 'load shedding', they want less people using the system so let's just tweak things a bit and make it harder to buy a ticket.  From what I've read tram boardings have shrunk by a sizeable amount since it became compulsory so it's probably achieving the desired result.

With regards to staffing it appears as though there's some ideological opposition to the use of people on the system for customer service duties, like there's no other choice but to go down the extremely complicated and unreliable debit card road.  Much of what you speak of is just common sense, Gwiwer, it's just a shame that nobody in authority is listening.  

I for one will take great pleasure in doing my bit to unseat my marginal Liberal member at the next election. I'm terribly ashamed to say that I helped him get elected in 2010 but next year I'll have a chance to reverse that mistake.  Until they get the message the only way is to keep throwing them out.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Maybe with all the cheques rolling in I will be able to buy a new car! I've given up on the system. The refund is .38c, I use the reply paid address to post my claim, and request my reimbursement to be in the form of a cheque, which of course requires a return letter and I assume a fee from the bank just to issue the cheque. I don't bundle claims in the one enevelope either. Each claim is a seperate claim, and therefore seperate envelope. This bug costs the TTA more to refund than the actual claim itself.
sas85

It's not going to cost them money in the long run because they know that eventually you will either give up and accept that it's all your fault  for expecting it work properly or you'll get p*ssed off and make alternative arrangements.  I'd be interested to hear if you ever actually get anywhere reporting this 'fault' but my theory is that you'll never get them to care about overcharging here and there, it's all part of the enhanced customer experience that myki is giving you.

The house always wins.
  Gwiwer Rt Hon Gentleman and Ghost of Oliver Bulleid

Location: Loitering in darkest Somewhere
I would challenge the average pollie to use the system.  Place a member of choice on a street corner in the city of Melbourne and ask them, using only the information provided to the general public, to obtain and correctly use a ticket to reach a nominated destination in the adjacent zone.

I'm sure they would fail.

I once had the chance to ask then-Minister Kosky for her opinion of Myki.  Her reply was that she never used public transport having a ministerial car and chauffeur.  What hope is there for the Great Unwashed?
  melbtrip Chief Commissioner

Location: Annoying Orange
End of the day MYKI gives greater subsitudy  to people that can afford to use public transport over  people lease can afford public transport.

For example person with a low income is less likely to get a 69 or more day pass and more likely to use myki money compare to person that has high income is more likely to get 69 or more days pass and which there fare is heavy subsidized from the government.




Department of transport took away the weekly cap and which would help people with low income with the cost of public transport and now they have pay higher cost of their transport needs. Sad
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
I would challenge the average pollie to use the system.  Place a member of choice on a street corner in the city of Melbourne and ask them, using only the information provided to the general public, to obtain and correctly use a ticket to reach a nominated destination in the adjacent zone.

I'm sure they would fail.

I once had the chance to ask then-Minister Kosky for her opinion of Myki.  Her reply was that she never used public transport having a ministerial car and chauffeur.  What hope is there for the Great Unwashed?
Gwiwer

I always had the impression with Lynn Kosky that she was really disinterested in her job; she later revealed she had some kind of chronic illness (can't recall what?) but I think psychologically she just wasn't engaged with the role at all, she clearly didn't like doing it.  She always looked really stressed and unhappy whenever she was interviewed about her ministry; it came to a head when the trains completely broke down in the heatwave of Jan 2009 and she looked like she was having a nervous breakdown on camera.  It clearly showed how little had actually changed with network reliability in the ten years since they got to power and it was impossible to 'spin' away.

Her really honest answer to you surprises me - usually they simply refuse to answer a pointed question like that one... but yeah, like most of them I'm sure she was totally unaware of what myki was really all about.  I have some good friends who used to be front and centre in an active Australian Labor Party branch; their comment to me was that in years of meeting them they discovered the average pollie has no clue how most of their electorate actually lives.  I'm certain that's true for both sides.

Bachelor always seemed to convey the impression that he didn't really comprehend his portfolio/role very well, I recall when the myki contract was first signed he made some substantial media gaffes demonstrating he didn't have a handle on the contract that he'd just committed a thousand millions dollars to.  The original project was incredibly ambitious and it kinda made them look like fools the longer it dragged on past its supposed original launch date.

Terry Mulder is always deadpan when he fronts the media and I really can't recall seeing him on TV that often, I suppose because next to nothing has happened for public transport in the last three years.  The systematic running down of the project and removing key aspects of it such as tram vending machines and disposable ticketing really tore it for me; I hold the current mob accountable for making a bad thing even worse.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Finally the myki savings are stacking up.  For the third time this week I got a 220 bus where all three validators were broken... yet another free trip.  Driver didn't give a sh*t.  Wonder if it's the same bus and they haven't bothered fixing it -
  g00r Locomotive Fireman

I worked for Bus link, no one there cares if Myki works or not (controllers, trainer, drivers).  A common problem was if your turn a bus off outside of the depot and turn it back on, Myki can't sync and the validators go offline. If you reboot the console they'll come back up.  
But again, they don't care if you run late, if air con/heating doesn't work, if you sit on the side of the road after your shift to clock up overtime.. Just as long as the wheels keep turning and you don't run early.
Lets hope Transdev do better when they take over Aug 1
  TempeFox Locomotive Fireman

As bus driver I cannot give a rats about if Mikyi mouse works or not. And when people just walk on or show their card the whole system is flawed. I will not challenge anyone as I'm not an AO and if the
Government were concerned they would have more than the 12 AO's they have now employed by BUS VIC and the hours they work are limited never see them after dark or weekends. For what I get paid I just say Hi and chat and look after me.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
As bus driver I cannot give a rats about if Mikyi mouse works or not. And when people just walk on or show their card the whole system is flawed. I will not challenge anyone as I'm not an AO and if the
Government were concerned they would have more than the 12 AO's they have now employed by BUS VIC and the hours they work are limited never see them after dark or weekends. For what I get paid I just say Hi and chat and look after me.
TempeFox

TempeFox, for what it's worth I always say hello and goodbye to my bus drivers (if they can be bothered acknowledging you); for some reason people think it's okay to have a go at the driver when it's running late whereas I know that traffic and assh*le passengers must make your job stressful.

Yesterday I had my fourth free myki trip in a week; it's obvious that there's a problem but I feel its myki's way of paying me back for the other times the bastard thing overcharged me.  Anyway, why should the drivers care - they're not IT technicians, it's not their fault the system doesn't work.
  alstom_888m Chief Commissioner

Location:
I drive buses for Ventura (soon to be Transdev); some buses have a broken console, other have dead readers. It's the same buses with the same problems and they are not getting fixed.

Maintenance on Myki is being done by Kamco directly (or possibly a sub-contractor), it has nothing to do with the depot mechanics or any other staff member working directly at the depot. Therefore it not the fault of Melbourne Bus Link, or any other bus operator.

I won't challenge a fare evader as it's not up to me to put myself or the other passengers at risk. There are too few AO's and they are never in the right location or the right time; I've only ever seen them at Doncaster Shoppingtown (where fare evasion is rare). Why are they not on the 250 at The Mall in Heidelberg West, or Garden City? Why are they not on the 200/203/207 on Johnston St, Collingwood?
  Some rail man Junior Train Controller

Location: CIA Headquarters in Washington D.C
I drive buses for Ventura (soon to be Transdev); some buses have a broken console, other have dead readers. It's the same buses with the same problems and they are not getting fixed.

Maintenance on Myki is being done by Kamco directly (or possibly a sub-contractor), it has nothing to do with the depot mechanics or any other staff member working directly at the depot. Therefore it not the fault of Melbourne Bus Link, or any other bus operator.

I won't challenge a fare evader as it's not up to me to put myself or the other passengers at risk. There are too few AO's and they are never in the right location or the right time; I've only ever seen them at Doncaster Shoppingtown (where fare evasion is rare). Why are they not on the 250 at The Mall in Heidelberg West, or Garden City? Why are they not on the 200/203/207 on Johnston St, Collingwood?
alstom_888m
There are only 12 AO's for the whole bus network but almost 600 for Metro (about 400 on the Sunbury line alone). Cranbourne transit still has almost half their fleet running with faulty scanners or on some older high floor buses none at all.

Cheers,
Jason, Lynbrook
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
I drive buses for Ventura (soon to be Transdev); some buses have a broken console, other have dead readers. It's the same buses with the same problems and they are not getting fixed.

Maintenance on Myki is being done by Kamco directly (or possibly a sub-contractor), it has nothing to do with the depot mechanics or any other staff member working directly at the depot. Therefore it not the fault of Melbourne Bus Link, or any other bus operator.

I won't challenge a fare evader as it's not up to me to put myself or the other passengers at risk. There are too few AO's and they are never in the right location or the right time; I've only ever seen them at Doncaster Shoppingtown (where fare evasion is rare). Why are they not on the 250 at The Mall in Heidelberg West, or Garden City? Why are they not on the 200/203/207 on Johnston St, Collingwood?
alstom_888m

If I were you I wouldn't challenge blatant fare evaders either - I've seen some really dodgy substance affected people on the buses and I'd be avoiding contact with them too.

Kamco being the maintenance contractor is curious, where does the TTA come into it, are they supposed to police service standards or something? Then there's the private contractor actually running the buses, maybe that's the problem, there's too many parties involved in the delivery of services.
  g00r Locomotive Fireman

I drive buses for Ventura (soon to be Transdev); some buses have a broken console, other have dead readers. It's the same buses with the same problems and they are not getting fixed.

Maintenance on Myki is being done by Kamco directly (or possibly a sub-contractor), it has nothing to do with the depot mechanics or any other staff member working directly at the depot. Therefore it not the fault of Melbourne Bus Link, or any other bus operator.

I won't challenge a fare evader as it's not up to me to put myself or the other passengers at risk. There are too few AO's and they are never in the right location or the right time; I've only ever seen them at Doncaster Shoppingtown (where fare evasion is rare). Why are they not on the 250 at The Mall in Heidelberg West, or Garden City? Why are they not on the 200/203/207 on Johnston St, Collingwood?
"alstom_888m"


It is the fault of Ventura/Bus link when they don't/won't call the Kamco help desk and report the equipment faults because of a  "is the bus still running? then don't worry about it, keep going" attitude.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
It is the fault of Ventura/Bus link when they don't/won't call the Kamco help desk and report the equipment faults because of a  "is the bus still running? then don't worry about it, keep going" attitude.
g00r

They've probably learned not to bother because nothing will happen.

More free Myki rides in the last few days, however, there was no God-damn bus tonight for over forty minutes tonight during peak-hour so I guess you get what you pay for.
  thadocta Chief Commissioner

Location: Katoomba
I am sort of siding with revenue on this one.

For someone in a remote area, why do they need the ability to recharge their myki before they travel, *IF* their mode of travel offers the ability to recharge when boarding?

For somebody living on the Bellarine Peninsula, what possible reason could they have to want to recharge their myki BEFORE they actually need to travel, when that recharge could not be performed prior to travel?

The only reason I can think of is that they would be driving towards Melbourne, and intended to park somewhere (like I do when travelling to Sydney to watch the 2012 Premiers play whoever they are playing that week) and then use PT to go the rest of the way, in which case a recharge outlet will be available.

For just about everybody, recharge on boarding will accommodate their needs, and the additional cost of providing retail outlets can not be justified.

Dave
  dean65 Locomotive Driver

Location: Ballarat
There was no God-damn bus tonight for over forty minutes tonight during peak-hour.
don_dunstan
Been there done that. In many ways the buses are just useless resulting in the huge number of cars we have parked at railway stations in Melbourne and country areas.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Been there done that. In many ways the buses are just useless resulting in the huge number of cars we have parked at railway stations in Melbourne and country areas.
dean65

This city is getting unbearable at peak times, I don't blame bus drivers for being late - I blame the traffic.  But NOTHING is being done to fix it.  How can Denis Napthine stand there with a straight face and sell a $9 billion hole in the ground as a solution to our traffic woes is completely beyond me - it's not even going to fix traffic on Hoddle Street.

This nineteen-fifties thinking is getting us nowhere.

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