Myki and Moorabbin Railway Station

Myki Top Up Logo Went to top-up my Myki card at Moorabbin Railway Station, and could not.  This is one of the 20 railway stations which don’t have a Myki Card Vending Machine (CVM).

Myki website: * The following metropolitan stations do not currently have a myki machine: Ashburton, Bayswater, Berwick, Fairfield, Frankston, Glen Waverley, Heidelberg, Hurstbridge, Jolimont, Laburnum, Lilydale, Moorabbin, Narre Warren, Pakenham, Ringwood, Ringwood East, Sandringham, South Yarra, Thomastown, Upper Ferntree Gully, Watsonia.

So I ask the station attendant, where can I top this up?

Patterson, it has a machine.

Patterson Platform 3 Myki CVM In fact, Patterson has two.  If you look closely at the photo, you can see a machine on Platform 3.  Platform 3 is only used Monday –> Friday; during the morning peak hour services.  Now, of the 430ish Frankston bound trains which stop at Paterson Railway Station, only 5% of those trains use Platform 3.


So how heavily used is that Myki CVM?  I can tell you.  It’s only had 8 top-up transactions since being installed.  I can’t help thinking it would be better placed at Moorabbin.

And in case you think this is a bit of (further) Myki bashing, the CVM on Platform 1/2?  180 top-up transactions over the same time period.

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A comment on the Trainee Myki Programmer post.

Myki Its Your Key Logo Julian Doherty was kind enough to comment on my Trainee Myki Programmer post.  I felt it deserved a better reply than a quick reply to comment, so here it is.

I’m no fan of Myki, but it seems like you’re drawing some very shaky conclusions from just a few posts.  
So why are you saying that this dev is outside Australia? This dev’s profile says "Melbourne" (not sure if that’s been changed since this post went up though).  

Yes, it was changed sometime between 10 February and the 18 February.

alok alok - now in melbourne
(update, this might be why: New myki chief rushed in to rescue troubled smartcard rollout) itself seems to be hosted in Sydney.  

There are two “Myki” sites. which is the informational site, looks to be hosted out of Sydney. which is the financial/accounts site, which you are directed to when you click login.  Looks to be hosted in Melbourne.

As for the posts, they really don’t tell you a lot – except the timing does seem too tight. If they’re still doing developer testing in Nov 09, and it’s launching in Dec 09, there are issues.  

The posts would lead me to think that the programmer is a junior programmer.  And yes, the timing is far too tight, for a system which was released on the 29th December.

The "100 users" number is fine. While the entire Myki system as a whole should handle 1,000,000 users in total (the ticket machines, not the website, and not all at once), that test looks like it’s checking that the site can handle 100 users hitting just the login page. That seems realistic.  

I’m not sure about that.  Sure, I don’t have access to the Google Analytics data that the Myki sites are collecting, but at peak times, there must be more than 100 people accessing the MyMyki secure site.

As for the newbie perl questions – yeah, not showing a lot of knowledge in how regex works, but not the end of the world. This to me looks more like a tester writing test scripts rather than a developer writing public facing production code.

Let’s hope it was a tester.  But wouldn’t you think you’d have an experienced tester for such a publically visible project?

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Trainee Myki programmer – “test the website for 100 or more logins”

alokSo where did the Transport Ticketing Authority have the programming for the done?

In Australia, you might think, as we don’t want people’s financial details to be going offshore, particularly with a project being paid for the Victorian Government.

Well you be wrong, try Bangalore.  Say hello to “aloknathlight

10th November 2009, Perl Beginners Mailing List

I think I can post the  issue related to ‘mechanize’ here.
I am using www::mechanize to login and logout to a particular page.
When I submit the credential(i.e username and password) and try to
view the content, I don’t see anything.
When I view the source, I see it has jscript code in it. Is the
problem because www::mechanize doesn’t supports jscript ?
Is there any work around for the above issue or can Iuse some other
module ?

Fyi, my objective is to test the website for 100 or more logins.

Please find the snippet of my script and the source for the page.
Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Fyi, my objective is to test the website for 100 or more logins”.  The user base of the Myki system is supposed to be 1 million people, and he only wants to scale the website for 100 logons?  And before you ask, how do we know it’s the MyMyki system?

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Those high speed Myki scanners

I was wondering what the government meant when they said “high speed scanners”.  Well, I visited Jolimont station to have a look myself.
No such thing as a high-speed scanner.  What they’ve done is add lots of normal scanners.

Mkyi High Speed Scanners at Jolimont Railway StationMkyi High Speed Scanners at Jolimont Railway Station

So assuming 500 people get off the train at Jolimont station station to watch the Cricket at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, how long will it take them to leave the platform?

At a “touch off” time of 2 seconds, that’s 1000 seconds, divided by the number of scanners (8), equalling 2 minutes.

In comparison to 0 minutes under the Metcard system.  The Metcard system didn’t have “touch off” at most stations, including Jolimont.

Now the assumption I’m making is that the 2 second touch off time won’t change increase when 16 people (8 gates per platform at Jolimont) all try to touch off.  Normally a system will slow down when an increasing load is applied to it.

In my last post, Bec summed it up well:

For the amount of money they have wasted on the Myki system (by the way, Myki is an Incan word for shit), they could have achieved all of the following:

  • Tram conductors for the next 60 years.
  • Every station staffed for the next 50 years.
  • Concrete sleepers through the entire electrified network.
  • A single signalling system through the entire metropolitan network (currently there are seven)
  • Had enough spare change to roll out an extra six new trains.

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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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$1.35 Billion, and still not IE7 compatible – Myki ticket system

Mark Knight cartoon $1.35 Billion, and we have an application which isn’t Internet Explorer 7 compatible!  How clever is that?!?

Yes, I’ve been reading the Myki Regional Bus Pilot Summary Report (RBP1).

It’s thrilling reading, here are some of the issues:

  • “Fifteen myki cards were rejected when attempting to use at the devices”
    – they forget to tell the card reader about concession cards (Pensioner / Student cards)
  • “It would thus appear that the sale of multiple Short Term Tickets paid from myki somehow voids the myki card.”
    – buy several tickets and have your myki wiped.
  • “Patron Call Centre scenario PA_2.3.3: attempted to print transaction history. Received error message ‘
    System.IO.DirectoryNotFoundException: Could not find a part of the path …'”
    – In other words, the programmers have not coded error trapping for Directory and/or File Not Found.
  • “Patron Web Portal does not function adequately if Patron uses latest version of Windows Internet Explorer (v7).”
    – next we will find out that it requires Microsoft Java Runtime.
  • “Unable to continue execution of Patron Call Centre / Web scenarios as previously established user profiles have been deleted.”
    – In other words, we couldn’t finish the testing.

Based on the details in the sanitised report, and these reports are always sanitised to remove embarrassing things, it looks to me that:

  1. the programmers are way behind, and are cutting corners, in order to meet deadlines.
  2. the myki product is going to be further delayed.
  3. that the hardware will require upgrades for it to be “fit for purpose”.
  4. I doubt that the ticketing backend will scale.

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