If you visit this blog regularly, my previous posts about Melbourne’s half arsed Myki rollout leading to congested stations should be familiar to you. Back in March I wrote about troubles at the City Loop ticket barriers, and in April I detailed the rollout of the long term capacity fix for suburban stations.
Today I follow a similar theme – the short term fix being applied to City Loop stations to address the growing Myki queues each morning.
In a move made public on April 26, the interim solution selected by the Transport Ticketing Authority was the installation of additional Myki-only readers in parallel to the existing ticket barriers. TTA chief executive Bernie Carolan said at the time:
The readers will be located near fenced areas that will be opened at the discretion of Metro staff to assist passengers with exiting safely and as quickly as possible.
The rollout was underway at Parliament station by May 1, when four FPD stands were installed in front of a bypass gate, on the Lonsdale Street concourse. The initial announcement said that 27 readers would be installed, but the actual count installed so far is only 22:
|Eight at Parliament||Four at Flagstaff|
|Four at Flinders Street, Elizabeth St end||Six at Southern Cross, Collins St end|
Where have the missing five Myki FPDs gone of the promised 27? Hopefully not forgotten in a box somewhere!
One month on from the first deployment, the use of the stand alone readers still seems to confuse some commuters, such as this woman at Southern Cross. With the ticket barriers in the normal locked position, she seems a little worried that walking through a open overflow gate is somehow fare evading.
From my travels I have found the usage of the overflow gates differs between stations, with the majority only bringing them into use during morning peak, with the readers being covered during the day by a vinyl cover with ‘Not in Use’ printed upon it, and secured with a padlock.
The exception seems to be the Elizabeth Street entrance of Flinders Street Station, where I have seen the gate opened up for outgoing passengers of an evening, leaving the existing Frankenbarriers for incoming passengers, who would otherwise queue over the road.
I also witnessed a more concerning usage pattern at Southern Cross a few mornings ago: as soon as the clock ticked over to 9 AM, the station staff closed the gate and started covering each reader with the ‘Not in Use’ cover.
Meanwhile in the background another swarm of passengers converge on the barriers, backing up towards the escalators.
To ensure what I saw was not a one off, I returned to Southern Cross at 9 AM yesterday morning, to see a different staff member locking up the overflow Myki readers.
Presumably management at Metro Trains have decreed that the ticket barriers need to be locked up dead on 9 AM, and passengers stuck in queues can go get stuffed?
This morning I spotted the ‘lock up a 9 AM’ for the third day running.