Myki operator to investigate contactless payment system after winning contract extension
The company operating Melbourne’s myki public transport ticketing system will investigate a contactless payment system, as it is awarded a new seven-year contract extension.
Despite early problems with myki, it is currently operating a “pretty reliable” service of above 99 per cent in terms of performance and reliability, the Public Transport Minister said.
Jacinta Allan said NTT Data, which has run Victoria’s train, tram, bus and regional rail ticket system since 2008, was found to have “stacked up best” through the tendering process.
Under the terms of the new deal, the company will work with Public Transport Victoria to investigate new contactless payment systems, such as using a credit card or phone to swipe on and off.
“We are looking at it. Public Transport Victoria have already started this work,” the minister said.
“They’ll do that with NTT Data and go and look at what’s happening in London and work out how it can be rolled out in Victoria.”
One of the largest smart card systems in the world
However, she cautioned against putting a timeframe on a new payment system saying myki was one of the largest smart card systems in the world.
“There are a million touch-ons every single day. There are 600,000 cards in circulation,” she said.
“For most of the people, it works most of the time.
“What we’re wanting to do through this new contract of course is look at how we can make improvements to technology.”
The company will also be subjected to strict new performance guidelines in the new contract.
“There are stringent controls around the performance and the reliability of the machines, around the presentation of the machines, [such as] if they’re damaged, they’re replaced as quickly as they can be,” Ms Allan said.
She said they had also been able to negotiate for more ticket machines and faster ticket readers.
“These are the sorts of improvements now under the new contract that’s been signed [that] give us greater flexibility to be able to negotiate more improvements like this into the future,” Ms Allan said.
In July, Victoria’s ombudsman released a scathing report into the way fare evasion on the system was enforced, leading to the abolition of the $75 on-the-spot fine for fare evaders.
Ms Allan said the Government would be bringing more fairness into the enforcement system.