How many times can one Myki gate break?

How many times can one Myki gate break? I catch the train to work every day, and always carry a camera with me – so if a gate has a habit of breaking, then I’m going to catch it!

Technician working to fix a defective set of Myki readers at Flagstaff station

I’ll start the story at Flagstaff station when Myki gates were brand new – October 2012. Somehow they managed to all freeze up a few days later, with passengers having to touch on elsewhere.

Brand new Myki barriers flaking out at Flagstaff station, Metro staff directing passengers to the overflow readers

On August 13, 2013 I found a single gate in need of reprogramming.

Bytecraft technician attempts to repair a Myki gate at Flagstaff station

8 hours later it appeared the technician couldn’t fix it – the gate was blocked from use using a ‘DANGER’ flag normally used on broken escalators.

8 hours later it appears the technician couldn't fix it - Myki gate still broken at Flagstaff station

Jump forward to August 26, 2013 and the same gate was now physically broken, but station staff had some new Myki green ‘Temporary Unavailable’ flags to block the gate with.

Single defective barrier paddle in the gate array at Flagstaff station

A few uneventful months passed, until March 31, 2014 when somebody else managed to break the same barrier paddle.

'Temporary Unavailable' at Flagstaff station due to a broken barrier paddle

The next morning somebody managed to break the second paddle.

Fixed the night before, now these myki gates at Flagstaff are broken in a new way

A year then passed, until evening peak on April 29, 2014 when software faults rendered every gate dead in the water.

Every myki gate at Flagstaff station dead for evening peak

May 8, 2014 saw the ‘Temporarily Unavailable’ flags getting a work out yet again, when both sets of paddles got stuck in the gate.

Another 'Temporarily Unavailable' flag deployed to a broken set of Myki gates at Flagstaff station

Repairs got the gates working for about a month, until they failed again on Thursday July 3, 2014.

Wide gate at Flagstaff station 'Temporarily Unavailable' for morning peak

Not much happened over that weekend, because on Monday July 7 the ‘Temporarily Unavailable’ sign started to turn into ‘Permanently Unavailable’.

'Temporarily Unavailable' yet again - wide gate at Flagstaff station

On July 8 I found a technician looking at the gate.

A second gate is 'Temporarily Unavailable' at Flagstaff station

However that didn’t fix it – on July 9 half of the barrier paddle was stuck in the mechanism.

Looks like the work done yesterday made no difference - only half of the wide gate at Flagstaff station is working!

And by Friday July 11 things weren’t much better – the left paddle was flopping halfway out of the gate.

Still 'Temporarily Unavailable' at Flagstaff station - the left paddle flopping halfway out of the gate

That is one full week for faults for one myki gate – how long until I find a longer streak of failure?


Metcard gates were not immune to failure – over the years I did manage to find one where half of the paddle was stuck open. I’m guessing the Metcard gates were built of much sterner stuff!

Metcard barrier with one half of the paddle stuck open

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6 Responses to “How many times can one Myki gate break?”

  1. xahldera says:

    Are those Myki gates the same mechanism used at some MTR stations in Hong Kong? Such as the one wide gate from your own photo here (

    • Marcus Wong says:

      Melbourne’s myki gates were supplied by a company called Gunnebo:

      They also supplied 516 flap gates for the KCR in Hong Kong:

      Those gates appear to have been installed on the newer Ma On Shan and West Rail lines, as well as retrofitted to other MTR stations to permit wheelchair access.

      • xahldera says:

        Fascinating stuff. Thank you for the info! I don’t think one of those breakdowns you mentioned would be tolerated by passengers on the MTR, especially given the problems they have recently been running into. The only problem I’ve ever had with my Octopus card at one of those gates was around 2011 when I was on holiday in HK and the gate wouldn’t let me in for some reason and that was fixed very quickly by a friendly member of staff who told me to wait a few seconds and try again after resetting something on the computer terminal.

  2. Thomas says:

    hi Marcus when I was at sunbury station all the 5 or 6 myki gates had x not an arrow I was very confused we payed a default fare

  3. […] written about broken Myki gates before, but the other day I found an example of evolution in […]

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