The ‘Pine Box’ is ready for Myki

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G’day my loyal readers and quizzers, Ando’s back with an article you may be interested in… Yeah, yeah, I promised not to talk about Myki ever again but all good promises are born to be broken, just ask our illustrious politicians.

Since forking out good money for the privilege of being a green card holder back in October 2012 (plus more dollars to get the card up and running), I’ve had 93 free trips on this supposedly world class ticketing system – Please note that none of these trips happened by fare evasion but purely because of the failure of the system to operate as it should.

Admittedly I’m primarily a bus patron thus all the malfunctions (freebies) occurred on the bus system. Now, buses are fitted with little green boxes about the size of half a loaf of bread, with LEDs above a small screen (the same as trams). Failure of these all important little boxes is displayed in three different ways:

1. Red light on indicates Myki is on an RDO or taking a sickie

2. Nothing on green box at all; Myki is on holidays

3. You touch on (as you should) then touch off without being charged

Only from memory can I express the above malfunctions in percentages, but here goes; the little red light (RDO) happens 50% of the time, no response from the box at all (Holiday) happens 20% of the time and 30% of the time there is no charge to your Myki.

Now at the time of writing I had not fully experienced the train or tram system with Myki, however while ‘topping’ up my card at Frankston railway station I noticed that all three of the fridge sized boxes that want your money had a fault: One would not issue a receipt, one had gone to god (or was at least on the way), and the third (the big one) that’s supposed to accept everything refused to do so.

Now this begs the question that when Melbourne has 217 train stations, how many of these silver boxes even bother to turn up for work on any given day?

Recently I left for a small trip to Echuca; upon arriving at Southern Cross station you could easily be mistaken for thinking you were about to cross the border between East and West Germany just after WWII, no less than ten drably grey suited individuals patrolled all exits with military precision.

At this time (9am on a Wednesday) four people were being grilled by the pseudo police.

Since returning to Melbourne, a friend of mine had the foresight to save an article from the Sunday Herald Sun that revealed what I’ve suspected for some time. It seems these silver fridges just get so full of your coins and notes that they simply can’t swallow anymore. How many would be ‘full’ at any one time across Melbourne?

It would appear that the ‘laxettes’ that are supposed to clear the machines guts can take up to 24 hours. Not a fair system considering, I reckon, 90% of patrons on the train system without a topped up Myki is through no fault of their own.

Too late to fix it now though, apparently ‘Kamco’ (Myki’s creator) has the ticketing system contract until at least 2016. Oh yeah, I forgot mention; there’s also no Myki in Echuca and many other regional areas, although they are supposed to have it, lucky them (for now).

 

Talk again soon,

Ando

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