If you know anything about public transport in Melbourne, you know the go to solution for ‘fixing’ any issue is spending big dollars on a rebranding – a classic case of fire and motion, or to put it less poetically – polishing a turd.
We are currently 18 months into the replacement of ‘Metlink’ logos with brand new ‘Public Transport Victoria’ ones all across the network, yet those in charge have decided to fiddle with something even more pointless – the brand identity of Melbourne’s biggest dog – myki.
The history of the Myki brand
Work on introducing a smartcard ticking system to Melbourne’s public transport network commenced in July 2004, when the newly established Transport Ticketing Authority opened a tender for a ‘New Ticketing Solution’, but it took until September 2006 for the ‘myki’ name to be officially announced by then Transport Minister Peter Batchelor.
Early advertising for Myki featured the same lime and blue colours that are familiar today.
The same colours also being used as Myki was rolled out across the network.
In the years since ‘myki blue’ has become the focus of transport ticketing related advertising.
As has the green myki logo, with the stupid little ‘door’ icon in the middle.
Dismantling the brand
The first signs of change came in April 2012 when the first parts of the myki empire were subsumed into the rest of Public Transport Victoria. The first casualty was the dedicated 13 myki phone number, which was redirected to the general public transport information hotline at 1800 800 007.
A few months later, a much larger change occurred in the background, when in January 2013 the functions of the Transport Ticketing Authority, previously the government authority responsible for myki, was rolled into Public Transport Victoria.
This was followed in May 2013 by the integration of the standalone http://www.myki.com.au/ website with the main PTV website.
Over the coming weeks you will notice some changes as the myki website progressively moves to the Public Transport Victoria website.
We’ve already updated myki management forms to include the PTV website and call centre number.
And we’ve just replaced all references to the myki call centre number with the PTV call centre number (1800 800 007) on the myki website, but because cards last for four years, your myki card will continue to carry the 13 6954 number for a while. There’s no need to worry. If you call the myki call centre number you will continue to be diverted to the PTV call centre.
We are also in the process of moving to a single myki card design which will allow us to add PTV information to all new cards produced in the future. These cards are expected to be available later this year.
The next stage of the transfer includes updating all auto reply emails with PTV information, as well as carrier letters that accompany the new or replacement myki sent to you in the post.
We would like to thank all customers for their patience while these changes are made.
As for the final part of myki rebranding, it appears to have slipped through with little fanfare, as new signage is introduced across the network.
I first spotted a more subtle use of the myki brand onboard trams.
As well as on top of ticket machines.
And in newspaper advertisements.
It turns out the new, more suble myki logo dates back to at least October 2013, having been outed by Sydney-based journalist Tim Lince (@timlince), who runs http://tmwatch.net/ – a blog monitoring Australian trade mark developments.
My question is – how much is Public Transport Victoria going to spend on rebranding every myki machine across Victoria, and how long until this new myki identity gets dumped in an attempt to cover up the smell?