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  • MYKI has been Overcharging You via a Mistake they Discovered 3 Years Ago
  • 11/12/2014 Make a Comment
  • Contributed by: MrNatural ( 27 articles in 2014 )
Be Grateful Today!
If you either live in Melbourne, or are mates with someone who does, then you've definitely heard some particularly colourful language being flung in the direction of public transport ticketing system Myki.

The much maligned "smart" (a term used extremely loosely) tickets replaced the perfectly functional Metcard system when the old system was totally discontinued in December of 2012. And whether it be through a poorly thought-out system that includes no provisions for single-use tickets (ideal for tourists or infrequent users) a confusing fare structure, dysfunctional equipment or over-zealous ticket inspectors, there's barely an area of the system that hasn't come under severe scrutiny.

So with that said, get ready to have your blood pressure levels spike. It turns out that not only has Myki been over-charging you on certain bus routes thanks to a glitch, but that glitch is known to system operators and was first discovered three years ago.

The problems occur when buses approach the changeover area between Zone 1 and Zone 2. Passengers have potentially been being overcharged for travel within both zones, even when all their travel has been within a single zone.

The Public Transport Ombudsman first identified the glitch over three years ago. The problem seems to stem from a combination of human error and unrefined GPS technology - some bus drivers fail to properly log route details at the start of their journey causes the system to misinterpret its own location, and (to be frank) pisspoor GPS technology isn't capable of sorting it out. This, despite the fact that just about every passenger on the bus carrying simple smartphones that are far more capable of doing so.

The real kicker is the fact that you've probably not even realised you've been overcharged, with passengers rarely checking their Myki statements - which is a thing you can actually do, apparently - and thus the overcharges go unnoticed. Worse still, it's borderline impossible to assess exactly how much extra money the system has gained from passengers as a result of the error, as overcharges are only ever logged when a passenger lodges a complaint and attempts to recoup the error.

Those in charge of the system hope the errors will be fixed when changes to Zoning come into effect on January 1st - travel across both zones will be capped at Zone 1 prices, whilst travel within Zone 2 only will remain as is - but this doesn't change the fact at all that this ferociously dodgy system has just been casually fleecing people for years on a glitch that people have been very aware of, and have done seemingly little to fix.

"Smart" card. Yeah. Righto.


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