Myki and the Hunchback of Notre Dame

‘Everyone do the Myki hunch’ – it’s the only way for a person of average height to read the touchscreen on the ticket machine.

'Everyone do the Myki hunch' (it's the only way for a person of average height to read the screen of a CVM)

It doesn’t matter which station you visit, craning your neck is mandatory to read the screen when you are trying to top up your Myki.

Doing the Myki hunch to read the screen of the ticket machine

In face, you should count yourself lucky you aren’t trying to read the touchscreen while the morning sun is shining onto it!

What's hard than reading a touchscreen at waist height? Reading a touchscreen at waist height with the morning sun shining onto it!

The reason the screens are so low – the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 requires all transport ticketing equipment to be accessible to all, at a height of around 80 to 90 centimetres. The point of Myki observing this makes no sense – once you’ve bought a card the Myki readers are located 1.1 metres above the ground and can’t be reached by a person in a wheelchair!

What a joke…


To make up for the excessively tall Myki readers that passengers with disabilities might not be able to reach, the government created the ‘Access Travel Pass‘ – a Myki with unlimited free travel loaded on it, and the touch on / touch off requirement removed.

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5 Responses to “Myki and the Hunchback of Notre Dame”

  1. Chris Gordon says:

    Doing the hunch isn’t the only way to read the screen. As a tall person (over 6′), I just push the “zoom” button changing the screen to Monochrome and then I can read it at the fairly bad angle looking straight down on it.

    • Marcus says:

      Using the ‘zoom’ feature does make visibility easier. I just wonder who came up with the name of the feature, which has nothing to do with what it actually does!

      Does this look all Chinese to you?

  2. Dave says:

    I’m really not sure that the myki machines, as designed, are the best way to meet DDA requirements – especially given the ability to acquire the access travel pass if needed.
    The current setup penalises the 99.5% of users (probably greater) who would benefit from a screen setup for a more ‘average’ user.

    Not only is the screen low, but it’s unclear to me that the EFTPOS terminal is actually DDA-compliant – it’s at about 1.2m high, and completely invisible if you’re looking down from above if you’re over 6′ (the screen is bevelled for looking from underneath, but a horizontal overhang precludes any line of sight from above). I don’t know why the EFTPOS display couldn’t have been incorporated into the main touchscreen.

    I’ve queried the TTA on if ergonomic assessment for typical users was carried out and the only response I got was ‘the machines comply with Australian standards’. Personally, I think the standards must be inadequate given the number of bad backs likely to result from the current design.

    Most users will move onto auto-topup or passes (reducing neeed for machine use) but because online pass purchases start immediately it loads onto the card (if no other pass is active) you can never be sure when it will actually get there… hence, machine purchase.
    (ie – you don’t want your pass to start Sunday, when it’s cheaper to use the weekend cap). Because there’s no way to choose when to activate a waiting pass (ie hold for 5 secs, or touch twice, etc) again, you need a machine purchase to provide timing certainty.

  3. Andrew says:

    I have not noticed this and it is quite obvious really. While we should have our facilities designed to be disabled friendly, it seems the Myki machines will be making people disabled with back problems. I am sure there is a way to cover both the able bodies and disabled at Myki machines.

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