NEW myki-only barrier gates are no better at clearing long passenger queues at busy railway stations than the obsolete Metcard/myki barriers they are steadily replacing, a small study has found.
The new gates' inability to clear the crowds any quicker than the old barriers was revealed in a simple experiment by a rail enthusiast, who used the stopwatch on his smartphone to count passengers as they exited Flagstaff station in the morning rush. Both types of gates processed an average of just over 20 passengers a minute, the study found.
Marcus Wong, a self-described gunzel (rail obsessive) and engineering geek, conducted his experiment in two stages - timing the hybrid Metcard/myki barriers in June and again last week with the new myki-only gates that have replaced them.
He published the results of his admittedly ''unscientific'' exercise on his blog, Waking Up In Geelong.
Mr Wong found that a successful myki touchoff at a hybrid barrier took between 2.27 and 3.66 seconds, letting through an average 20.3 people per minute.
With the myki-only barriers, a seamless touchoff took between 1.6 and three seconds, with the average passenger taking marginally less than three seconds to pass through the gate.
''With an average touch-off time of 2.97 seconds in my dataset, a fraction over 20 passengers per minute can pass through a myki ticket barrier. I don't call that an improvement!'' Mr Wong wrote.
The authority in charge of myki responded that the speed at which passengers passed through myki gates would improve as people adapted to using the gates and the ticketing software was refined.
''Once the system matures to a point where it has been operating at the intended level for a number of months and ultimately years … software refinements and improvements, combined with passenger familiarity, will result in incremental improvements in passenger flow,'' said Bernie Carolan, the Transport Ticketing Authority's chief executive.