nukegrove Junior Train Controller

Hi all,

Just thought I might copy and paste this article by Daniel Bowen from his website.


These things aren’t cheap
Wed 13 January 2010 7:23am by Daniel · Filed under: Transport

Here’s an inconvenient truth of ticketing: Installing brand new smartcard systems, even established ones from elsewhere, is perhaps not as cheap as one might think.

Some have said instead of developing Myki, Victoria should have bought an existing system like Hong Kong’s Octopus, or London’s Oyster.

The government (TTA) claim you can’t do this. But Auckland is doing it.

Auckland is buying HK’s Octopus. It’s costing them NZ$47 million in capital costs, and is rumoured to be in the region of NZ $65 million for ten years of running costs, so a total of $112 million for the first ten years (about $90 million Australian dollars).

Sounds cheap doesn’t it!

Then I looked at how big the Auckland public transport system is.

If one assumes that the amount of infrastructure and fleet size (and the amount of ticketing equipment that has to be installed) is closely related to patronage, how does it stack up?

Auckland’s total patronage for the 2008-2009 year: 58.6 million trips.

Melbourne’s total patronage for the year ending September 2009: 494.5 million trips. But Myki covers most of regional Victoria too, so you’d have to add 13.2 million V/Line trips, and an unknown (well, I couldn’t find it via a quick search) number of trips on regional town buses. Let’s say a total of around 510 million trips per year, 8.7 times that of Auckland.

So if Auckland’s adoption of Octopus was to handle 8.7 times as many trips, and perhaps cost 8 times as much, it would come in at $720 million for ten years. Perhaps not quite the bargain one might think.

Though still a lot cheaper than the $1.35 billion Melbourne’s Myki will cost for ten years, in fact it’s a little over half the cost.

And because it’s a mature technology, I’m betting it’ll be a much smoother introduction than Myki’s having.

PS. Some people believe the cost of ticketing and fare collection barely covers revenue. This isn’t true; in Victoria public transport fare revenue is around $600 million per year, and growing. Doesn’t mean it can’t be collected more efficiently though.

PPS. Hold off on your comments on your Myki experiences… I’ll post on that in a couple of days.
"http://www.danielbowen.com"


I think this really show that myki is actually not that expensive, considering the size of it all, all the equipment that has to be installed and the unjustfiable bonuses that are getting paid as well as all the salaries that has to paid as a result of it running late.

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  michinyon Chief Commissioner

A clumsy fool is a clumsy fool, regardless of the type of card they are carrying.


So all clumsy people are fools are they ?   I will quote your opinion to the next cripple I meet.

Or as autopenguin would say,  sensitivity fail.
  fast01 BUTTSCRATCHER!

Location: Somewhere your not.
Select a destination


Have you seen the size of the machines in Sydney which allow you to do this?  The number of buttons is huge.  It can take 5 minutes to even locate the destination you want.  (Hint - Sandgate isn't listed alphabetically under "S", you need to first find the "Hunter" section of buttons .....  Rolling Eyes ).
"Gwiwer"
Have you seen the newer machines in Sydney? They are a touch screen and somewhat similar to the myki CVM's..
  SueB Locomotive Fireman

Location: Mt Evelyn
IS ANYONE STILL HAVING PROBLEMS WITH TOP UPS BEING CREDITED?  I TOPPED UP $5 FOR AN EXPERIMENT OVER A WEEK AGO AND MY BALANCE IS STILL ZERO BUT IT HAS BEEN DEDUCTED FROM MY CREDIT CARD. Evil or Very Mad
  Asapi Locomotive Driver

IS ANYONE STILL HAVING PROBLEMS WITH TOP UPS BEING CREDITED? I TOPPED UP $5 FOR AN EXPERIMENT OVER A WEEK AGO AND MY BALANCE IS STILL ZERO BUT IT HAS BEEN DEDUCTED FROM MY CREDIT CARD.  


Dear grumpy, yelling Sue...

Is it zero balance on the web site, or zero balance when you check at a vending machine or blue balance checker?

If it's only the web site that's wrong then there's nothing to worry about - it will *eventually* catch up.

If the blue machine shows it's wrong, ring the call centre now!!
  Mitty Assistant Commissioner

Location: Hawthorn
^Haven't attempted an online top up SueB.  Have you checked your card at a CVM/Balance Checker?  they money may be there but it may not show up online yet.

In other news, You may remember from the other thread that I mentioned that one bank of  Metcard gates at Glenferrie (at the bottom fo the platform 3 ramp) had not been "myki-ised".  The "big" gate of that bank now has been and works to touch on and off, even though most of the time it's open.  Good to see just a little bit of progress.

EDIT what Asapi said Smile
  Gazza2 Locomotive Fireman

Select a destination


Have you seen the size of the machines in Sydney which allow you to do this?  The number of buttons is huge.  It can take 5 minutes to even locate the destination you want.  (Hint - Sandgate isn't listed alphabetically under "S", you need to first find the "Hunter" section of buttons .....  Rolling Eyes ).
Revenue would have a blue fit trying to cope with all that even if it does appear to be more user-friendly at first.
.
"Gwiwer"


It wouldn't need to be like the Sydney machines since the Myki ones don't use physical buttons.

On the machines used in SEQ we get to pick by station names (And other useful destinations are in there too....Hastings St Noosa, Warner Bros Movie World etc)

It is a case of picking the first letter of the destination, which then brings up the list of suitable destinations.

The other nifty feature is "Choose by Map" where it brings up the rail network map, and you can then zoom in and pick your station.
  Sir Thomas Bent Minister for Railways

Location: Banned
A clumsy fool is a clumsy fool, regardless of the type of card they are carrying.


So all clumsy people are fools are they ?   I will quote your opinion to the next cripple I meet.

"michinyon"
Only the ones that Mr. T pities.
  Tremere Train Controller


Here is another question - are the myki machines aware of where they are? E.G. the CVMs. Does a CVM at Caulfield know that its at Caulfield?
"AzN_dj"


It would appear so, if set up properly:
http://www.myki.org.au/pics/index.php?level=picture&id=7

I wonder if stand alone scanners (no CVM present at station) are set manually as well.. could explain the early instances of change of mind not working?
  SueB Locomotive Fireman

Location: Mt Evelyn
IS ANYONE STILL HAVING PROBLEMS WITH TOP UPS BEING CREDITED? I TOPPED UP $5 FOR AN EXPERIMENT OVER A WEEK AGO AND MY BALANCE IS STILL ZERO BUT IT HAS BEEN DEDUCTED FROM MY CREDIT CARD.  


Dear grumpy, yelling Sue...

Is it zero balance on the web site, or zero balance when you check at a vending machine or blue balance checker?

If it's only the web site that's wrong then there's nothing to worry about - it will *eventually* catch up.

If the blue machine shows it's wrong, ring the call centre now!!
"Asapi"


Sorry I didn't mean to yell.  It is zero on the website and also zero at the balance checker.  I have actually called the call centre yesterday and lodged a request.  They have given me a quote number.  I also did another test and placed $10 through EPTPOS two days ago and there too has disappeared into the blue yonder.  I hope they can fix this.  Fortunately as I travel on a bus and train, I don't need to use the Myki yet and have purchased a new monthly Metcard.  I was if this is another glitch? Smile
  Mitty Assistant Commissioner

Location: Hawthorn
I'm wondering if the balance checker is enough to initiate a top up that you did online, or do you actually need to attempt a touch on?
  AzN_dj Chief Commissioner

Location: Along route 69


It would appear so, if set up properly:
http://www.myki.org.au/pics/index.php?level=picture&id=7

I wonder if stand alone scanners (no CVM present at station) are set manually as well.. could explain the early instances of change of mind not working?

That's a very interesting picture. Thankyou for that.
This makes me wonder how much of a firmware upgrade would be required if a new station was built or whatever. Does the whole firmware need to be re-written and uploaded to all CVMs/equipment, or could it just be localized?

I like the idea of a map-based search, but may still not be helpful for a tourist. And as for regards for a comparison to Sydney, there are no physical buttons, which make it more ideal, and could be done using a search function where whoever starts typing in the station/area name, and the options are eliminated. E.g. I press B then O then X and the only option left is Box Hill.
  Mitty Assistant Commissioner

Location: Hawthorn
I just did a $5 topup online.  Will let everyone know if/when it shows up on my card at the reader Smile
  heisdeadjim Chief Commissioner

Metcard will still be operational for at least another year, as they have to account for the person who bought a yearly Metcard the day before myki was rolled out and refuses to transfer it over.
"jessej100"


Remember when you bought the yearly - the paperwork? They know where you are. You'll get sent a Myki, AFAIK free of charge. Whether you refuse to use it or not is your issue: much like today even though a Myki may work on a tram, technically it's an invaid ticket because it hasn't been proulgated yet.

The reverse also works - once the legal status of Metcard is recinded, they'll no longer be legal for use. Analogy to the concept of "legal tender" in coins and banknotes.

Surely they won't let one hold out (I'll be damned if I'm giving up my yearly metcard!) stop them end-dating metcard.  If they give someone the alternative of a myki to switch over to, honestly why wouldn't you once it's available on all modes?  

Though at the rate of take up, I'd bet it'll be more than six months before metcard is gone completely, or at least inoperative.
"Mitty"


I believe six months is the minimum crossover, and that will start from when Myki is deemed legal on all modes of transport. So, despite what I said earlier in all practicality it may indeed be over a year!

Especially on the Stony Point line?
"AzN_dj"


I believe initially same will apply as with the Frankston line currently - buying AT Frankston.

Here is another question - are the myki machines aware of where they are? E.G. the CVMs. Does a CVM at Caulfield know that its at Caulfield?


Yes they do, nothing dissimilar from Metcard machines. This is why you can't buy a Zone 1 ticket from a platform machine in a Zone 2 station - the machine knows where it is.

I am thinking that for tourists, or whatever, it would be easier for them to select a destination, rather than a zone when purchasing a ticket from a CVM. Then a message pops up saying something like "Did you know that your ticket is valid on trams, buses and trains up to ______ for the next 2 hours.", while whoever is waiting for the machine to spit out the ticket.


This was covered quite extensively in the old thread, no. Metcard is a zonal based system, not point to point. I remember it because I got grumpy at someone asking strawman questions, IIRC the spurious one station prebooked ticket on the Craigieburn line.

And - yes, all the myki machines can beep, just they are not loud enough. If anyone is able to put in a request to change this, could they? Revenue?


Revenue is on his annual leave, I concur with the inaudible beeps, they need to be louder.

Is anyone still having problems with top ups being credited?  I topped up $5 for an experiment over a week ago and my balance is still zero but it has been deducted from my credit card. Evil or Very Mad
"SueB - quietened"


This I also concur with, the payment portal is glacial. I have even the payment confirmation email, but no balance on the card.

However, all manual top ups through a CVM have gone through instantly and all travel has been correctly recorded for my card through the blue readers only.
  Mitty Assistant Commissioner

Location: Hawthorn
I forgot to mention I am now using a pass.  Every time you touch off, the date that the pass expires shows up on the reader screen, as well as your current myki money balance.  Hopefully they see sense and also show the two hour ticket expiration time as well at some point.
  wongm GEEWONG

Location: Geelong, Victoria
Geelong bus commuters have been using these since myki was introduced there.  I've seen a few discarded inside bars and nighclubs.
"RATLSNAKE"

So you were picking up lonely bus commuters or abandoned mykis? Laughing
  Autopenguin Assistant Commissioner

I'm wondering if the balance checker is enough to initiate a top up that you did online, or do you actually need to attempt a touch on?
"Mitty"


Purely guessing, but based on my observations, I'd say the balance checker is not able to apply a top-up. It appears to simply read a dump of all of the info on the card and then display it to you.

This might be why the $20 top-up I did at Malvern on Sunday evening - AFTER I had touched off for the last time in that travel session - did not show up on my account until after the next time I touched on, the following day (it appeared on the account overnight) though the Sunday travel was deducted from my account overnight the night before.

As an experiment, today when heading back from Prahran, I topped up with $10 at the CVM before touching back on to head home. Checked the balance on the reader as I touched on, and of course the amount was already there. I'm betting that now I've touched on, that top-up is stored to be dispatched to Myki HQ tonight and should appear on my account overnight.

If this is all the case, then it would appear that the CVMs can't tell Myki HQ about top-ups either.
  Gwiwer Rt Hon Gentleman and Ghost of Oliver Bulleid

Location: Loitering in darkest Somewhere

Especially on the Stony Point line?


I believe initially same will apply as with the Frankston line currently - buying AT Frankston.


All stations Leawarra to Stony Point have full Myki ticketing; a sales machine and a yellow toilet post - sorry - scanner.  To judge from the aroma they're used as territorial scent markers by local oiks unable or unwilling to control bodily functions.

So once short-term ticketing is transferred to Myki you will be required to have a valid ticket before you board the train and the facility exists already to check that status on board.

Until that time the line remains an unsanctioned fare-free zone for trips not passing through Frankston barriers as there is nowhere on the line or trains to purchase Metcards and prepurchase only cannot be enforced as it is not an obligation of the system.
  heisdeadjim Chief Commissioner

So, as I said, initially the current status quo applies. When the machines are populated with cards, that will change, thanks Gwiwer.
  m3matt Station Staff


Purely guessing, but based on my observations, I'd say the balance checker is not able to apply a top-up. It appears to simply read a dump of all of the info on the card and then display it to you.

This might be why the $20 top-up I did at Malvern on Sunday evening - AFTER I had touched off for the last time in that travel session - did not show up on my account until after the next time I touched on, the following day (it appeared on the account overnight) though the Sunday travel was deducted from my account overnight the night before.

As an experiment, today when heading back from Prahran, I topped up with $10 at the CVM before touching back on to head home. Checked the balance on the reader as I touched on, and of course the amount was already there. I'm betting that now I've touched on, that top-up is stored to be dispatched to Myki HQ tonight and should appear on my account overnight.

If this is all the case, then it would appear that the CVMs can't tell Myki HQ about top-ups either.
"Autopenguin"


I can tell you from experience that the CVMs can tell Myki HQ about top ups but it takes a not insignificant amount of time to do so. Without yet touching on until today my 7 day old card (after finally working via manual registration on Saturday arvo) showed a $30 top up 3 days ahead of it ever getting cosey with a Touch On/Off process.
  dbowen Assistant Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
^Um, a zone 1 daily on metcard is $6.80.  on Myki it's only $5.88.  A Zone 1 2 hour is 3.70 on Metcard, only $2.94 on Myki.  

Still wanna use your metcard?
"Mitty"


Same price if using a 10x2 hour Metcard.


Daniel
  heisdeadjim Chief Commissioner

Same price if using a 10x2 hour Metcard.
"dbowen"


This is important, this is designed in deliberately. Part of the whole pont of trying to attract Myki to people :p
  dbowen Assistant Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
Same price if using a 10x2 hour Metcard.
"dbowen"


This is important, this is designed in deliberately. Part of the whole pont of trying to attract Myki to people :p
"heisdeadjim"


Sure.

But let's not pretend it's some kind of unique feature to Myki.


Daniel
  heisdeadjim Chief Commissioner

Oh, no, I'm not.

It however can correctly be marketed as one of the good things about Myki, in that unless you were actually using that 10x2hr, the value fares were unobtainable.

This way, it opens that pricing to more people.
  Autopenguin Assistant Commissioner


I can tell you from experience that the CVMs can tell Myki HQ about top ups but it takes a not insignificant amount of time to do so. Without yet touching on until today my 7 day old card (after finally working via manual registration on Saturday arvo) showed a $30 top up 3 days ahead of it ever getting cosey with a Touch On/Off process.
"m3matt"


Ah, ok. Well, the delay seems to definitely be longer than two days with the CVM-only method. I'll be interested to see what changes are made to my balance tonight, and specifically whether today's top-up is part of it.

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