Friday, September 18, 2009

Whisky. Tango. Foxtrot.

Not content with having introduced a magnetic tag/toll system that so baffles the bejesus out of hapless non-Victorians (me, for example) that they are too intimidated to drive there any more (me, for example), the Victorians, I see, have now introduced a public transport ticketing system so complicated that they have to spend five million bucks hiring six hundred people to explain it to confused commuters, as reported in today's Age.

Dudes. If your bus tickets require an interpreter, perhaps you need a new Transport Minister. And if you just had to have such a system (as a character in Garry Trudeau's Doonesbury puts it: 'Why? Because the technology exists.'), could you at least have picked one whose name's pronunciation can be deduced from the written word? Is 'myki' pronounced Mickey, Mikey, my-ky, or (yes, I fear this is the one: trust a state government department -- any state government department; SA is just as bad -- to embrace a bit of incompetent wordplay) My Key?

Never mind, look on the bright side: at least it's a reversal of the usual classic Industrial/Digital Revolution pattern of technology putting people out of work. Still, that's five million bucks you could have spent on not killing the River Murray. There's not much point in having a job if you die of thirst while you're doing it.


Anonymous said...

It is, sadly, My Key. And it has cost so much money they'd have been better off just making the stupid trains free. It's not as though they offer a level of service one can justify charging for anyway.

V-line trains, on the other hand, make me happy every time.

Pavlov's Cat said...

'It is, sadly, My Key.'

Heh, I knew it.

Henry said...

What's that sound? Oh, it's an enormous collective sigh from over here in Victoria.

Yes, what a farce. Squillions spent on replacing / upgrading a system that used to operate rather well with (a) real people working as tram conductors (b) little paper tickets with holes punched in.

Funnily enough, this is still the go on the V/Line trains, which, as innercitygarden says, work a treat, are clean and safe and comfortable. (Hmmm, thinks....)

Someone in Spring Street has been hoodwinked.

(BTW, word verification is 'alias' ... tee hee)

TimT said...

The state guv is quite the one for the public education campaigns. My favourite is the ad stuck up on the tram walls telling people to wash their hands. And offering a handy five step guide for people telling them *how* to wash their hands.

frog said...

My first response to the name was to wonder if they really did want us to take the mickey out of the system.

The peak trains are so crowded that the rail operator has been forced to take action. Rather than put on more trains, it's put more rails on the carriage roofs so that more people can hang on. If you're tall enough, of course.

lucy tartan said...

The Oyster card system used in London is quite brilliant and if Myki was a patch upon it I'd be overjoyed, but going by everything else that's disastrously wrong with PT here, not a chance.

Ann oDyne said...

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot indeed.

My small city (Ballarat) has had MYKI for long enough now, that it is breaking down, and many free rides have been enjoyed thank you; but the thing about it that must cripple the timetable on Melbourne transport is that passengers must Scan OFF before alighting.

re Fear Of TollWays: after a recent once-only long drive involving multiple private-road corporations (all foreign owned BTW) I was relieved the next day, to log on to their websites and solve future infringement notices with credit card details.
I noted on journey, deliberate vague signing where a driver unfamiliar with the region, is sent to the pay road, when the free one went to the same place (ie the fork-in-the-road direction 'To Portsea' (via Frankston, cost $12) fails to point out to driver hurtling along with huge traffic flow, that Portsea can be reached via Dandenong for free.
Well it's business isn't it?

CulturalCringe said...

Myki is exactly like Oyster except that it has taken five years less time to implement and will cover all modes of public transport.

Putting extra staff on to the system to help people use the new tickets is not exactly a stupid idea.

Please don't expend too much energy complaining about a system that won't be introduced until November; I suspect that in 12 months time you won't be able to imagine living without it.

By the way, if you've ever read The Age's coverage of anything you actually know about, you'll know to treat its reporting with extreme scepticism in future.

Francis Xavier Holden said...

Amsterdam last month was "rolling out" a similar to myki system to partially replace their very very existing complicated system.

There were thousands of tall, handsome, youthful, dutch girls and boys in official "fun edgy" blue t-shirts, looking both pale skinned and tanned at the same time, all clustered around ticket machines helping and explaining to people how the new system works.

All with pretty perfect english and teeth.

It's not just a Melbourne thing

Pavlov's Cat said...

No, of course it isn't. I just like whingeing about Melbourne.