Melbourne's mobile myki use nears 100,000 users

30% of the Android-owning users are aged 25-34.
Written by Asha Barbaschow, Contributor
Image: Public Transport Victoria

The Victorian government is claiming that nearly 100,000 users have jumped on its mobile myki play that allows public transport to be paid through a smartphone app.

Launched in March, passengers are able to pay for transport tickets on their smartphones via the myki mobile app. Mobile myki can be used on existing myki gates and readers at the state's train stations, myki-enabled buses, as well as on Melbourne's trams.

According to the state government, passengers quickly adopted the initiative, with nearly 11,000 people using it within the first 24 hours. It said around 1,000 mobile myki's per day have been activated since launch.

The function is only available to Android users, however. It was developed in partnership with Victorian ticketing provider NTT Data and Google, and uses Google Pay.

The tech is mostly being used on Melbourne's train network, with 57.8% of passengers travelling by train, followed by trams, metropolitan buses, regional trains, and regional buses.

Passengers aged between 25 and 34 who make up over 30% of total users are leading the uptake.

SEE ALSO: Victoria looks to make public transport info available in real-time

Although mobile myki is only available to Android users, AU$1 million was allocated as part of the state's 2019-20 Budget to accelerate the development to other smartphone platforms, including iOS.

"We've seen an incredible response to mobile myki in just over two months and we're getting on with the development and technical testing needed to make this technology available for people with other smartphones," Minister for Public Transport Melissa Horne said in a statement on Wednesday.

"Our work doesn't stop here -- we look forward to continuing to make travelling on Victoria's public transport network easier and more passenger-friendly."

Speaking previously on the idea of opening up Australia's public transport system to be cross-jurisdictional, Lance Blockley, managing director of The Initiatives Group, a consultancy firm that provides analysis and guidance for those playing in the payments space, said the myki system would make it a difficult proposition.

"You'd love the idea of all of the main metro areas in Australia to be openloop because you could go to any city and just tap-on and tap-on," he said. "Melbourne will be a problem."

Blockley was part of the evaluation committee that chose Cubic to rollout the Opal functionality for Transport for New South Wales. He said Cubic was chosen as it fulfilled a part of the requirement that asked all of the hardware to be installed from day one with openloop compatibility.

"In the London system they had to rip out all of the touchpads in the tube and reinstall because they weren't EMV [Europay, Mastercard, Visa] capable," he said. "But here, we are fortunate enough to have the right equipment."

Meanwhile in NSW, commuters using public transport can pay with debit and credit cards, in lieu of using an Opal card, across the Sydney Trains network and on any NSW Train Link Opal service.

This includes smartphones and any smart devices that have NFC payment capability.


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