IT won’t be with any rush that Ballarat rail travellers will embrace the changeover to the troubled myki ticketing system later on this year.
V/Line services will be the last in the Victorian public transport system to transfer to the myki system, the branchild of the former Labor Government in Victoria which has been economically, and workably, a failure.
The problem with myki is that it only works most of the time. Mostly, the touch on, touch off system provides appropriate passenger flow at large Melbourne train stations. Mostly, passengers are charged the appropriate fees. Mostly, irregular travellers can understand the purchasing and charging models.
Unfortunately, on a world class public transport ticketing system, mostly is simply not good enough.
As Melbourne professes to be one of the world’s most livable, and visitable, cities, the myki system pales in comparison with the smooth and easy to understanding ticketing on systems such as those in Europe.
And soon, the pleasure will be all ours.
While the Metcard system was far from perfect, and the current old-style V/Line ticketing system outdated, they both worked.
Now major cities such as Ballarat, Bendigo and Geelong are in a style of ticketing no-man’s land caught between the devil and the deep blue sea.
As problematic as the introduction of myki has been, there will be many regional commutors who will find a one-ticket-fits-all system easier than the current model.
The ticketing debate is just one of many in the transport area. The continuing upgrade of regional lines to cater for increased passenger volume which will continue for the next two years may cause some frustrations but will ultimately deliver better travel times and options. Further pushes to improve connectivity will still be needed to provide a service a rapidly growing regional centre requires.
Given the massive investment – tens of billions of dollars – in the past 15 years, Ballarat travellers will be hoping to get better bang for our bucks in the future.