Fee of $10 for myki cards
Monday August 10, 2009
PASSENGERS using the new myki smartcard in regional Victoria were overcharged 10,800 times in the ticket system€™s first four months of operation.And as the launch of the $1.3 billion ticket system nears in Melbourne, it is also now clear that travellers will be expected to pay a $10 fee for the microchipped card, on top of normal ticketing charges.This $10 myki card will expire after four years, the State Government€™s Transport Ticketing Authority confirmed on Friday.A spokesman for the authority said a $10 fee for a myki card was justified. €˜€˜Unlike paper tickets, a myki (card) will last for many years, and within just a few weeks of using myki customers recoup the cost of the card when compared to buying short-term tickets,€™€™ Adrian Darwent said.A number of introductory offers would also occur when the myki card was launched in Melbourne, making the card temporarily cheaper, he said.Mr Darwent said the teething problems in the first months of the regional program €” which saw buses slowed down dramatically and 10,800 passengers overcharged €” had been solved. Almost 37,000 myki cards have been sold in regional Victoria.Myki is Victoria€™s new public transport ticket, to be used across Melbourne by the end of this year. The smartcard can be topped up automatically or online, and requires users to €˜€˜touch€™€™ on and off, or be charged a higher fare.The smartcard system began operation in March on buses in Geelong, and is now also on buses in Ballarat, Bendigo, the Latrobe Valley, Warragul and Seymour.Myki equipment is now also installed in 80 of Melbourne€™s 211 railway stations, on 279 of the city€™s 495 trams and on 636 of 1600 metropolitan buses.Opposition transport spokesman Terry Mulder said news of passengers being overcharged using myki came after the Government claimed €˜€˜a few early bugs in the system€™€™ had been fixed.€˜€˜These €˜bugs€™ are now breeding like rabbits,€™€™ he said. €˜€˜Lynne Kosky€™s myki is gouging money from unsuspecting rural bus users.€™€™Mr Mulder demanded a halt to the proposed rollout of myki cards until there was proof that users would not be overcharged.