Over 100,000 Melbourne commuters have signed up for a myki card since the system began operation for trains on 29 December.
Myki reader (Credit: Transport Ticketing Authority)
Around 114,000 had taken advantage of the free card offer by applying online, which is running until 17 January, a myki spokesperson told ZDNet.com.au. Normally the card costs $10 for full-paying commuters and $7 for concession holders, with the cards intended to be usable for four years, according to the spokesperson.
According to Victoria's Transport Ticketing Authority (TTA), Melbourne commuters make around 350,000 travel sessions per day.
Myki operator, Kamco, will receive bonus payments if 980,000 cards are taken up within six months, according to the Herald Sun.
Some of Kamco's payment is performance-related, according to the spokesperson for the TTA; however, Kamco has received no bonus payments as yet.
The system has been the target of a lot of criticism since its roll-out on Melbourne trains at the year's end. The intention had been to have a city-wide roll-out across buses and trams as well, but as the "end of the year" deadline approached, the decision was made to implement the system purely for trains.
Since the roll-out, myki has been criticised for having a website that has been on the blink, sending cards with incorrect details to people who had applied for them, and not equipping transport officials with card scanners.
The Opposition Leader Tim Baillieu even called for Transport Minister Lynne Kosky to return from leave to take responsibility for the roll-out.
However, the spokesperson for the TTA said that the cards, which were sent to customers, were the right ones, they were only accompanied by incorrect letters. Card distribution had been halted yesterday so that the company which had developed the myki system, Kamco, could investigate the problem.
Distribution was expected to resume this afternoon.