The saga of concession myki sales at ticket machines

Things move slow in the land of Myki, so I was surprised the other week to discover that that Myki machines can finally sell General Concession, Senior and Child myki cards. Previously they only sold full fare ones.

'Buy myki' help text displayed on a Myki machine

So why was it a problem?

When Myki was first rolled out, the cards were bright green, with different designs for Full Fare, Concession, Child and Student fares.

Full fare, concession and seniors Myki cards for sale at a 7-Eleven store

As you might expect, having to keep four different types of card in stock was a logistical pain, so in May 2013 it was decided to move to a single card design, as part of a larger rebrand of Myki.

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.

“Later this year” was wishful thinking, with the new look cards not rolled out until November 2014.

Victoria will see new-look myki cards from early November, the next step in Public Transport Victoria’s (PTV) plan to simplify the system and provide more options at myki ticket machines next year.

The new-look myki is dark grey and will be available for all passenger types. It features PTV’s network branding design, PTV’s updated contact information, and a blank strip for customers to write their name for identification.

Alan Fedda, PTV’s Director of Customer Services, said the new-look myki has many benefits for card sellers, operators, and distributors.

“The new-look myki will make distribution and stock holding simpler for retailers and station window staff as they no longer need to carry four different types of cards,” said Mr Fedda.

“Distributing four separate card types across the network increases delivery costs for PTV.

“The single card design streamlines the process of ordering and handling cards for operator and retail outlets, and reduces the overall amount of stock they need to hold on site.”

In 2015, new-look cards will enable seniors, child and concession customers to purchase myki cards at myki vending machines for the first time.

Mr Fedda said myki machines will be reprogrammed to sell all four types of myki cards.

“Myki machines will only carry the new-look myki. The passenger type and any concession entitlements will be coded to the myki at the vending machine.

“This means seniors, children and concession customers will be able to purchase myki cards at unstaffed stations, in addition to the staffed stations and other locations they already use.”

Mr Fedda said there was no need for customers to change to a new card if their green myki has not expired, in line with PTV’s commitment to minimise wastage.

And their 2015 timeline for selling all kinds of card in machines was even more optimistic – the subsequent Myki machine ‘upgrade’ was just some new stickers!

And the rollout of card sales of all types to ticket machines – it took until August 2021!

Victorians can now buy more types of myki cards from myki machines. Until now, you could only purchase a Full Fare myki from a myki machine but this is changing.

Beginning Friday 20 August 2021, General Concession, Senior and Child myki cards will be available for purchase from a myki machine. This applies to all myki machines throughout Victoria and is expected to be completed by Tuesday 31 August 2021.

A Full Fare myki costs $6.00 and a General Concession, Senior and Child myki each cost $3.00. You will still be able to top up with myki Money or a myki Pass at every myki machine. The minimum top up amount is $1, but we recommend topping up with at least a 2-hour fare so you have a valid ticket for your next trip.

If you’re travelling with a General Concession, Senior or Child myki, please ensure you have the correct proof of eligibility with you.

That’s 7 years since the idea was first floated publicly.

'Fare type' menu displayed on a Myki machine when buying a new card

Footnote: the other long running Myki saga

Myki machines were also know for covering Melbourne in unwanted receipts – that problem was eventually fixed in 2019.

Footnote: expiry dates and retail ticket sales

Turns out the expiry date of Myki cards sold at retail outlets is set during the card distribution stage, a problem discovered in 2013 when people buying “new” cards discovered they were almost ready expire.

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9 Responses to “The saga of concession myki sales at ticket machines”

  1. Tramologist says:

    I thought senior cards don’t have a card cost, or have I been mistaken?

  2. jw says:

    Now we’re going to revamp Myki yet again…
    When I first came to Melbourne you bought the (paper) ticket you wanted at the station or on the bus or tram, daily, monthly etc.
    I sometimes wonder whether, overall, we’ve actually saved any cost to the taxpayer with all the changes since…

  3. Tramologist says:

    According to Victorian Fares and Ticketing Conditions 4.26, A Myki Smartcard will be operational for at least four years from the day of purchase before expiry. By starting the clock ticking at distribution stage, the issuer has broken its own rule.

  4. GXH says:

    Meanwhile, we’ve moving (slowly) towards being able to use NFC technology as well as Myki cards. However, my impression is that elsewhere in the world where “tap” technology is already available, it can only be used for full fares. Looks like Myki machines may continue to be required for the sale of concession cards for a few years yet.

    • jw says:

      I think you are correct. However, should we really have concession fares? I enjoy the seniors’ concession, but I occupy a full seat just like everyone else. Likewise students etc.
      One again before we launch into a new ticketing system we need to think all this stuff through.

      • GXH says:

        “However, should we really have concession fares?”
        This is a really interesting question. There are so many issues: who are such fares intended to benefit – are they intended as a form of social welfare or are they provided for other reasons? And do they need to be at 50% discount – why not more or less than this? Ought they apply 24/7, or just at certain times?
        However, the concept of half price concession fares is so embedded in our culture (and around the world), it seem unlikely that anyone would have the courage to change or even query the system (except, perhaps, to give yet more concessions!)

    • Marcus Wong says:

      The ‘Smart Ticketing’ system being rolled out by Translink in Queensland will support concession fares –

      I believe it’ll require users to register their payment card with the transport operator so the backend charges the lower fare.

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