Tuesday, 19 February 2013

What's the point of all this feedback on myki?

I'm on the customer experience panel for the myki ticketing system.  My motivation for spending time on this is that I am a committed public transport user. I believe in contributing to my community to make things better.

Each week I try to participate in all of the tasks requested.  I dedicate my time to this and take it very seriously, participating sincerely and honestly.

Sometimes I feel like I'm beating my head against a wall, as changes seem to take such a long time to be made. Sometimes I wonder if changes ever will be made.  The wheels turn very slowly.

Public Transport Victoria regularly provides news and updates in response to our feedback. Most of the time it's unremarkable. Occasionally I read something and think "oh, I'm glad they fixed that!".  This week I just sat and shook my head.

Not long ago we had specifically been asked about how myki calculates fares and applies defaults. Apparently the panel's feedback must have suggested that the rules are complex and hard to understand. The essence of the message provided back to us was there's plenty of information about how it's done and here are all the places where you can read it!

Or on the subject of most people preferring to top up at a myki machine, their response was to tell us they will be launching a campaign to tell everyone about the other ways.

Perhaps out of context some of the impact of these communiques may be lost, but I worry that they are missing the point. If the default position is to defend the system as it stands, rather than thinking about how customer concerns could actually be addressed, I can not see how any aspect of the system will be improved, or what the point of the whole exercise is.

One of my friends today thanked me for continuing to engage with the underperformers who are running Victoria's public transport, saying I'm doing everyone a favour.  I'm no longer sure about that because the result seems so lacking.


  1. I'm in the middle of a MYKI situation myself! I had a job on the banks of the Yarra and so rather than worry about parking, I took the train. My first MYKI experience! I got my card, put money on it for my fare and hopped on a train to Sth Yarra station. To my shock, my card wouldn't let me through the turnstile. I had just put plenty of money on it before I got on board, but it wouldn't work. An officer came to assist me, checked my card and saw money was on it, but I hadn't "touched on". So he gave me an infringement notice. He said, no worries, just respond to this notice and you should be fine, it was your first time.
    Well I've just sent off my letter that will hopefully clear me of the $230 fine!! But what a freaking fiasco to have to deal with! Why didn't the officer/inspector just show me what I'd done wrong, what I needed to do to get it right and let me go? He saw my card had money on it, that I wasn't trying to get a free ride, but still I have to go through the freaking hassle and debacle of appealing to the bureaucracy of 'faceless men/women'. Haven't been on a train since and will avoid it at all costs!! Big fat pain in the arse is what it is!!

  2. That's crazy. What a shame that the authorised officers take a punitive attitude, rather than viewing situations like yours as an opportunity to educate. I'd be very keen to hear what happens. Please let me know!