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YKI'S first day of full operation in Melbourne has been marred by a series of minor problems, with users complaining of overcharging, continuing issues with the $1.35 billion smartcard's website, and equipment failures.
The myki card became valid for use on all public transport in Melbourne yesterday, three years and five months after it was meant to replace Metcard. Myki had been valid for travel on trains since January, but not trams and buses.
Metcard will continue to work alongside myki in Melbourne until at least next April.
Public Transport Users Association president Daniel Bowen said several of his group's members using myki yesterday had encountered problems.
Mr Bowen said he took three bus trips, and encountered problems on two. ''On the second trip I was overcharged, and on the third none of the scanners on the bus worked. One trip out of three working correctly is not a great start,'' he said. Another PTUA member who used the card yesterday reported he had not been charged anything on his first tram ride.
And users of the transport website http://www.railpage.com.au - where a small number have been following myki's progress for several years - reported the card was still taking up to two seconds to register on trams.
''It's a bit like it was when they introduced it on the trains: sometimes it's working and sometimes it's not,'' Mr Bowen said. ''It clearly isn't a disaster on day one, but there are enough glitches there that the government should be paying attention.''
Public Transport Minister Martin Pakula said the real test for myki was not its first day, but over the next few months. And he pledged ticket inspectors would be ''empathetic'' in coming weeks as more tried the system.
Only a handful were using myki on trams in the city centre yesterday. Angelo Gaggiano said he had found validators often did not work, but he could always find at least one on board in operation.
Mr Gaggiano, a former public transport worker, predicted concerns over myki would subside once travellers started using it.
The worries over myki were near identical to those he observed when working on the tram system during the 1990s, when Metcard was introduced. ''Metcard caused so many problems,'' he said.
''Another six months or a year, they [myki machines] will all work properly.''
Myki has cost $472 million so far to create, making it one of the most expensive ticketing systems built to date. London's Oyster card cost £161 million ($A277 million) to create in 1998, and in total has since cost £1.16 billion, according to British treasury figures released in February. Myki will cost $1.35 billion to build and operate between July 2005 and July 2017.
The myki card is designed to automatically give public transport users the cheapest fare. On trains and buses, users must touch on and off. On trams, passengers will be charged a default two-hour fare of $2.94 if they do not touch off. Passengers on trams in zone 2 must touch off to get the cheapest fare.
Myki cards can be bought for $10 at http://www.myki.com.au or at Southern Cross and Flinders Street stations and the Town Hall Metshop.
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