A week with the Myki smartcard

Post Office Box with Myki envelope Myki is the new ““smartcard”” travelcard which is to be used on public transport here.  Trains, trams and buses.

3 years late, $350 million dollars over budget, and it’s failed to deliver every promise.  Just like a typical IT project.

It doesn’t work on trams or buses yet.  Unlike train stations, trams and buses do not have a fixed landline to handle the communications back to the Myki processing centre.

Having said that, I’ve carried one for the last week, and here’s my opinion:

  • You need to “scan on” & “scan off” the system.  This takes about 2 seconds.
    This is a bit different to the current Metcard system where people don’t need to “scan off” at the majority of destinations.
    So, a “scan off” has been added for most people travelling home.
  • Will it scale?
    I wonder what the scan off delay is going to be, when there is 1 million people using the system.
  • It doesn’t work on trams and buses.  So if I want to catch a tram at lunchtime I have to buy an extra ticket.
  • The Myki card is readable scan though the thickness of my wallet, so that’s a plus.

For the most part, Myki does seem to work.  It’s a shame that it’ll take 19 years to recover the cost of Myki.

I’ll leave you with this quote:

Well, one definition of rapt is “to be transported with emotion,” which sort of describes the feelings of James Rowan and Dean Fidock, who headed South Australia’s State Transport Authority when Adelaide’s Metroticket system was introduced in 1987. According to another story in The Australian, the two said they were “stunned at the amount of money wasted in the Myki fiasco.”

Adelaide’s was the world’s first electronic ticketing system and, like what Myki is supposed to eventually do, covers buses, trains and trams. However, the Adelaide ticketing system only cost AU$10.5 million to develop.

Even accounting for inflation since the mid-1980s, AU$1.3 billion does seem a wee bit excessive for a ticketing system in comparison.

IEEE – The Risk Factor Blog

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