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A leaked memo obtained by the Herald Sun reveals cards that are four years old will be turned off in coming weeks. Commuters can only get a free replacement card at the PTV Hub at Southern Cross Station or must buy a $6 card and fill out a form to have the cost reimbursed and have their myki money transferred.
"The myki ticketing system has been operating for almost four years on a number of regional town buses and cards purchased by passengers when the system began will soon begin to expire,'' the Public Transport Victoria memo sent to staff last Thursday said.
Next will be the thousands cards that belong to Melburnians who registered for a free myki ahead of the smartcard starting on the metropolitan train network in December 2009.
"This time next year there will be a swag of them that will expire,'' one transport source said.
It is the last saga in the overtime, over budget system which has now cost taxpayers $1.5 billion. Commuters with a registered myki card will be contacted and told their card is set to expire.
Those with unregistered cards will not be contacted but can view the expiry date of their myki using a myki machine or myki check.Expired cards cannot be used on public transport or have money added to them.A card expiry question and answer sheet which accompanied the memo said in the future it would be possible to replace an expired card at a train station.
"Myki cards currently expire four years from the point of card issue. PTV is investigating ways to extend this time,'' the sheet said.Registered users are required to request a new card "
to ensure (it) is sent to the correct person and correct address''.The Herald Sun has sought comment from PTV and the Transport Ticketing Authority, the agency responsible for myki.
Melbourne will become a myki-only city on December 29.
TTA chief executive Bernie Carolan defended the situation, saying many other cards Victorians carried expired. "Customers with a registered card which is soon to expire are being contacted by customer service staff to explain the replacement process,'' Mr Carolan said.
"To ensure they aren't caught out with an expired card and can't travel, we advise passengers to register their myki and keep their contact details up to date.
"Extensive marketing and customer communications will be undertaken when larger numbers of cards are due to expire - initially this will occur at a local level for the regional bus networks.
"Opposition transport spokeswoman Fiona Richardson said the government had gone out of its way to make myki worse, particularly for regional commuters. "
Mulder's Myki is now an administrative burden for commuters and the Liberals decision to scrap short term tickets has only made things worse,'' she said.
This article first appeared on www.heraldsun.com.au
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