Touch on feedback from Myki, or lack thereof

The woes of Melbourne’s new Myki ticketing system have been in the newspaper for months – the latest round has been congestion at the City Loop railway stations, and the lack of feedback to users when touching on or off at stations.

You can experience it for yourself quite easily – present your Myki to a ‘Frankenbarrier’ * and you score the useless ‘CSC Pass’ message, leaving you confused as to whether your Myki has been touched off or not.

The useless 'CSC pass' message after successfully presenting a Myki to a Frankenbarrier

With all that useful information given by the ticket barrier, you probably want to check your Myki balance. Next stop, a ticket machine.

Myki history displayed on a CVM, the 10 history items are all titled 'Travel'. Real useful guys!

Hmm, 10 history items all titled ‘Travel’ – really useful guys!

I’m sure if these dimwits ran a supermarket your receipt would say ‘Food’ 15 times.

One hopes the Baillieu Government’s $1 million plans for a “myki customer experience panel” will get to the bottom of these problems.


  • ‘Frankenbarriers’ are Metcard ticket barriers retrofitted with Myki scanners.
  • ‘CSC’ stands for ‘Contactless Smart Card’, before the Myki readers were installed, the space on the ticket barriers was taken up by the yellow reader for the older ‘Metcard Xpress‘ smartcards. That system never got very far, the cards only being issued to two groups of people: customer service staff so that they could open barriers for passengers with defective tickets, and to the wider public transport workforce who were entitled to free travel.
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9 Responses to “Touch on feedback from Myki, or lack thereof”

  1. Simon Russell says:

    I asked the Myki twitter people about the useless travel history on the topup machines; they told me to use one of the blue machines instead — I don’t know if they’re any better. They seemed to think it was entirely okay to have an essentially useless screen on the topup machines.

    If you want a real laugh, press the “Zoom” button on topup machines. It’s quite useful, but it sure doesn’t seem to zoom anything.

    Those machines seem to me to be classic outsourced requirements document software development. Minimum cost, minimum effort.

    The old barriers have that problem I think because of the way they chose to integrate with them. I’m not really sure why they didn’t do a better job; I assume it’s because they were meant to be far more temporary than they actually are.

    • Marcus says:

      You’re right about the “Zoom” button being a joke – it only increases the font size a few points, and switches to a high contrast colour scheme. The bigger joke is the multiple interface language options – it only exists at the ticket machines, so what is the point?

      Does this look all Chinese to you?

      As for the temporary nature of the Frankenbarriers, one would need to dig around to see if the original Myki rollout plans ever got publicised – it’s been available on trains for over two years (since December 2009).

  2. Nathan says:

    If you go to the myki simulator on the myki website, it would appear the travel history page is meant to provide a lot more detail:

    unfortunately, for whatever reason, we’re stuck with the completely useless “travel” as you point out. I recall that with Gocard in Queensland, the machines do provide very detailed info on all transactions stored on the card. I’d imagine eventually this will get fixed, but with so many other problems out there it’s probably very low on the list of priorities.

    • Marcus says:

      The simulator seems a little better, telling you ‘touch on’ and ‘touch off’ but it’s still pretty useless. I would expect to see the tram route / train station / bus route listed as well – I really wonder who wrote the original specifications.

  3. Robert says:

    You can find out more detailed travel information on It tells you where you touched on and touched off. It is not in an easily digestable format and the information for trams is useless

    • Marcus says:

      Yep, the website isn’t much better. It tells me which railway stations I have touched on and off at, but trams and buses are just a generic message – no route information, only zone.

      The other issue is that I can’t check things easily on the move – the ticket machines are already there when you are standing around waiting for a train or tram.

  4. Andrew says:

    Slightly off topic but I spent quite a bit of time on and off trains and trams today. My Myki worked perfectly, but gee a lot of people were struggling with their Myki cards. I don’t think they hold card still and nearly flat against the readers.

    City Link too can be quite troublesome when you want to see where you have travelled.

    I keep in mind that viewing online records of your travel was quite unimaginable to me when I was young and what great advances have occurred. I also keep in mind how much this ticket system has cost.

  5. mich says:

    Needs to show the time also.

    • Marcus says:

      Showing the touch on/touch off time on the CVM history would be very useful: once you start making multiple journeys in one day you can’t tell what each charge corresponds with. The only downside is if you lost your card: someone could pick it up, check the history, then start stalking you. (alternatively, they could use the details to return your card)

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