Victoria's troubled myki ticketing system will be officially supported for tram and bus travel from 25 July.
Victoria's Minister for Public Transport Martin Pakula today announced that commuters can pay their fare using myki or Metcard across Melbourne transport zones 1 and 2 from Sunday.
Pakula said that "results from recent testing have demonstrated the system is now ready for customer use on trams and buses".
Over the next week, card vending and myki check machines will be activated at large bus and tram stops with work underway to implement myki retail agents.
Transport Ticketing Authority (TTA) chief executive Bernie Carolan said that myki users could top up at 11 bus interchanges and 21 tram platforms around Melbourne in addition to the 310 train station machines, a call centre and a website.
However, the minister went to great lengths in his statement to specify that not everyone needed to move over to myki right away.
"I want to make it clear that Metcard will still be a valid ticket to ride until at least Easter next year ... the two systems will operate alongside each other," he said.
Metcard customers will be contacted by mail-out to encourage the move over to myki towards the end of the year.
Although myki can only now be officially used on buses and trams, users had been swiping on with the cards before today.
In the fortnight leading up to 11 June, myki cards were used 41,000 times when customers boarded Melbourne trams. The system was only supposed to be operational for trains at the time.
The road to myki has been less than smooth after numerous problems including budget and deadline overruns, a massive card recall, failed transactions and substantial over-credits to myki accounts due to a "programming error".
Contractors from US-based Kamco were flown out to troubleshoot the system in February.
Pakula said that both the board of the TTA and US contractor Kamco had provided assurances that the system was now working reliably.
The minister assured that the TTA and Kamco would closely monitor the roll-out and would stand by in a support capacity.
"With a system of this size and complexity, issues will arise. The TTA and Kamco are focused on fixing them as soon as they occur," he said.