Victoria ramps up myki effort

The Victorian Government yesterday opened a new centre where mobile salespeople dubbed "Myki Mates" will sell Victoria's troubled public transport ticketing smart card to facilitate a trial of the offering.

The Victorian Government yesterday opened a new centre where mobile salespeople dubbed "Myki Mates" will sell Victoria's troubled public transport ticketing smart card to facilitate a trial of the offering.

A myki reader
(Credit: Transport
Ticketing Authority)

Myki has been in operation on four bus routes in Geelong and Bellarine Peninsula since 8 December, a spokesperson for Victoria's Transport Ticketing Authority (TTA) told ZDNet.com.au. A further four routes were added later in December.

Since then, around more than 500 cards have been sold, the spokesperson continued. Last Wednesday, the first day for the cards to be sold after the Christmas break, the demand was higher than expected resulting in some customers being disappointed. Further stock was delivered in the afternoon.

The roll out across the rest of Geelong will happen in the next few weeks, the spokesperson said, with regional bus centres to be next. It will continue through 2009 for completion in 2010.

The launch of myki on the bus routes followed a trial last year, which the TTA claimed yielded "positive results" with a 90 per cent success rate when 124 separate scenarios were tested. The scenarios included scan on and scan off, adding value to a myki, driver log off and on, and testing the GPS functionality across zones.

The myki project hasn't had a smooth past, experiencing cost overruns and has missed deadlines. Kamco signed a $494 million contract with the Victorian Government in 2005, but its budget has run out to $844 million to install the system and $550 million to run it for a decade.

Myki wasn't the only public transport system, however, to run aground. The New South Wales Government has had to go back to the drawing board with its ticketing project after it cancelled a contract with ERG due to the company not meeting milestones.

South Australia put out a tender for a company to develop a ticketing system last year. Brisbane and Perth have working smart card systems.

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