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MyWay tagoff trial extended

By 18 June 2011 19

Territory and Municipal Services have announced that they’ve extended the time they’re taking to teach ACTION cutomers to tag off their cards when they get off the bus:

To assist patrons become more accustomed with the process of tagging on and off buses with their MyWay card, the ACT Government will extend the current transition period where default fares do not apply until 31 December 2011, Paul Peters, Executive Director, Roads and Public Transport, announced today.

“Since the introduction of the new MyWay smartcard ticketing system in March, a transition period has been in place where a passenger is not charged a default fare if they forget to tag off the bus,” Mr Peters said.

“The transition period was due to finish on 30 June 2011 however, to allow people more time to become familiar with the tagging on and off process, the transition period will be extended until the end of the year.

“Information will be posted on the website, in Canberra Connect Shopfronts, MyWay Centres and recharge agents to help notify people of the extended transition period and to remind them of the importance of tagging off.

“At present there are on average 70,000 trips recorded on weekdays on the MyWay system of which there are approximately 1,600 instances where people have been detected not tagging off.

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19 Responses to MyWay tagoff trial extended
#1
Genie12:37 pm, 18 Jun 11

Hahaha It’s probably because the machines keep freezing an you can’t tag off.

#2
miz12:39 pm, 18 Jun 11

I’ve certainly forgotten a few times – but there have also been two times when the machine had ‘crashed’ and it was not possible to tag off. I hope they are looking into this.

#3
basketcase1:03 pm, 18 Jun 11

It is pretty easy for me to forget to swipe off. As I live fairly close to a bus stop, I once went back and swiped my card twice on another bus which seemed to do the trick.

Hope they still have free buses for over 75s in a few years time, then I won’t have to worry about swiping off (or maybe even swiping on). Only have to remember where the bus stop is!

#4
Innovation2:04 pm, 18 Jun 11

Is there any possibility that this might also be because the MyWay system still needs improvements?

For example, I have been watching my child’s trips on Action’s website. Once, it looks like my child’s “tag on” didn’t register (even though I watched them tag on for that trip). The system then recorded a “synthetic tag on” and tag off at the stop my child later got off at and correctly charged the student 90 cent fare.

First, is the system still occasionally defective not registering tags on and off but indicating to the passenger that it has registered? Second, I thought the system didn’t charge a fare if a person tags on and off at the same stop, so how did it know to correctly charge the student fare when it didn’t seem to know where my child got on the bus?

#5
Gungahlin Al2:33 pm, 18 Jun 11

I don’t use it too much (mostly cycle) but it has worked fine whenever I do ride the bus. The signs placed near the exits help too.

#6
Morelia7:48 am, 19 Jun 11

I read this on the Wikipedia site for London’s Oyster card, their version of MyWay. Thought the numbers were interesting.

“Transport for London makes a significant profit from excess fares deducted for those travelling using PAYG and failing to touch out as they exit stations. According to information obtained under the Freedom of Information Act[79] TfL made £32m from pay as you go cards of which £18m was maximum fares for failing to touch out. Only £803,000 was paid in refunds, showing that whilst customers can apply for a refund, most do not. The maximum fares for failing to touch out were introduced late 2006.[80] It is up to the customer to ensure they have validated their card correctly for their journey.”

#7
Watson3:33 pm, 19 Jun 11

Morelia said :

I read this on the Wikipedia site for London’s Oyster card, their version of MyWay. Thought the numbers were interesting.

“Transport for London makes a significant profit from excess fares deducted for those travelling using PAYG and failing to touch out as they exit stations. According to information obtained under the Freedom of Information Act[79] TfL made £32m from pay as you go cards of which £18m was maximum fares for failing to touch out. Only £803,000 was paid in refunds, showing that whilst customers can apply for a refund, most do not. The maximum fares for failing to touch out were introduced late 2006.[80] It is up to the customer to ensure they have validated their card correctly for their journey.”

Hm, those figures sound a bit random to me. It is not mentioned what the difference is between a maximum fare and a standard fare. Here it’s capped at $7.60 per day. And a single trip is $2.52. Assuming most bus users take the bus twice a day, not once, most would pay an extra $2.50 per day they don’t tag off.

Now I can imagine that the maximum fare in London is a whole lot higher because they have zoned fares there and it’s a big city. So the difference between average and maximum fare is probably quite significant. Those wiki figures only talk about value, not about percentage of people who don’t tag off.

For some reason I don’t think they’ll be making a fortune out of people not tagging off in Canberra.

#8
SheepGroper4:55 pm, 20 Jun 11

Watson said :

Hm, those figures sound a bit random to me. It is not mentioned what the difference is between a maximum fare and a standard fare. Here it’s capped at $7.60 per day. And a single trip is $2.52. Assuming most bus users take the bus twice a day, not once, most would pay an extra $2.50 per day they don’t tag off.

According to http://www.transport.act.gov.au/myway/fares.html, “Capped at $7.60 per day (if people tag on and off for all trips)” I read this to mean that the cap doesn’t apply if you don’t tag off, and in theory if you made two trips in a day and failed to tag off for both you’d be out $8, over the cap. And if you needed to take more than two trips a day, and failed to tag off for them, you’d be out even more. Every time Action’s been on the news talking about fares they’ve been careful to specify the capped costs are only if the user tags off each time.

Also, I pay via BPay because I get the discount, the fine for not tagging off isn’t discounted and runs down your credit that much faster, which can be an issue given how long it takes for a BPay payment to reach your card.

#9
Watson6:12 pm, 20 Jun 11

SheepGroper said :

According to http://www.transport.act.gov.au/myway/fares.html, “Capped at $7.60 per day (if people tag on and off for all trips)” I read this to mean that the cap doesn’t apply if you don’t tag off, and in theory if you made two trips in a day and failed to tag off for both you’d be out $8, over the cap. And if you needed to take more than two trips a day, and failed to tag off for them, you’d be out even more. Every time Action’s been on the news talking about fares they’ve been careful to specify the capped costs are only if the user tags off each time.

Also, I pay via BPay because I get the discount, the fine for not tagging off isn’t discounted and runs down your credit that much faster, which can be an issue given how long it takes for a BPay payment to reach your card.

I have always intepreted it as ‘you will never be charged more than $7.80 a day’.

#10
cranky7:11 pm, 20 Jun 11

Slightly OT, but I find the government being in a position to monitor your movements on public transport disconcerting.

Sure, they have delayed full implementation, but the implied scenario is that if you dont sign out, you have travelled to the end of the line, and consequently owe the maximum figure they can screw out of you. Logic takes a distant second place to financial gain. And at the same time, the bureaocracy know precisely where you are/have been. This information CAN be misused.

Has our government sunk to such lows in customer service? Are they THAT greedy?

Similarly, I question the proposed recording of number plates under the point to point cameras to be installed on Hindmarsh Drive. These recordings are made simply to prove you ‘may’ commit an offence, by speeding. Surely, in this human rights driven territory, every vehicle should not be recorded simply because the driver ‘may’ commit an offence.

#11
Watson9:23 pm, 20 Jun 11

cranky said :

Slightly OT, but I find the government being in a position to monitor your movements on public transport disconcerting.

Sure, they have delayed full implementation, but the implied scenario is that if you dont sign out, you have travelled to the end of the line, and consequently owe the maximum figure they can screw out of you. Logic takes a distant second place to financial gain. And at the same time, the bureaocracy know precisely where you are/have been. This information CAN be misused.

Has our government sunk to such lows in customer service? Are they THAT greedy?

Similarly, I question the proposed recording of number plates under the point to point cameras to be installed on Hindmarsh Drive. These recordings are made simply to prove you ‘may’ commit an offence, by speeding. Surely, in this human rights driven territory, every vehicle should not be recorded simply because the driver ‘may’ commit an offence.

The only reason why they do require you to tag off in Canberra is so they can keep stats on details of bus trips.

The feature is built into the system because most other cities have zoned fares and therefor need customers to tag off to charge them correctly. Same deal with metros in other cities. You tap your card when you go in and tap to get out. Noone seems to make a big deal of it there and there’d be a hell of a lot more people worth spying on in big cities than here!

#12
SheepGroper9:32 am, 21 Jun 11

Watson said :

I have always intepreted it as ‘you will never be charged more than $7.80 a day’.

Only if you tag off for each trip as it says on the website. I spoke to a bus driver last night about this and he said you do get charged more than the cap if you fail to tag off. I’m not keen to waste money trying it out – has anyone out there been unlucky enough to not tag off several times in one day yet?

This probably extends to the ‘free’ days you get at the end of the month if you’ve reached the monthly cap too – free if you tag off, $4/trip if you fail to tag off correctly.

#13
shadow boxer8:18 am, 22 Jun 11

This system is just stupid, why does it have to be so complicated with sneaky traps to make more money.

If people are serious about getting people on the bus make it $1 for an hours travel to anywhere on as many buses as you want with a family pass at $2 no matter how many kids.

Then make school buses free like in NSW so people get in the habit and learn where their stop is.

$2 retrun I’d think about the bus to work, any more and it’s easier and cheaper to drive.

#14
Gungahlin Al9:27 am, 22 Jun 11

I don’t understand what is happening with the tag off charge rates. Yesterday morning it the terminal showed the charge as $2.32. that evening it was $1.95. This morning it was $2.30. Eh?

#15
Innovation9:57 am, 22 Jun 11

#13shadow boxer – I don’t think that the system is “stupid”. It is, perhaps, complicated to those who use it for the first time or irregularly. Possibly also, the pricing structure could be improved. I might be naive, but the system does seem to have the potential to produce some valuable data about which services should be improved and which should be reduced.

I agree with your comments about pricing. It doesn’t suit multiple users in families, particularly with children. It seems that a family of four who occasionally use the bus would need four cards pre loaded with $80, which is a bit excessive, or pay cash (and a potential $8 plus fare and extra time quickly makes the car more attractive for all trips).

As well, it seems to be overpriced when running along major transport corridors. A quick search indicates that buses allow between 27 and 69 passengers seated (50 to 110 seated and standing). I know the fares vary, but at an average of around $2.50 for a single trip with no connections a two-third’s full bus would generate around $83 to $183 per trip. Not bad for an 8km run from Belco or 10kms from Woden to the city for example!

Obviously ACTION uses the revenue from these more utilised trips to subsidise emptier buses (eg when they divert into the the suburbs or run after hours). Perhaps MyWay will eventually provide better accountability. For example, rather than the Government giving ACTION a dollop of money each year, perhaps one option would be for the Government to directly contribute to less cost effective runs (and for this to be reported so that we can all see where our money is going).

#16
shadow boxer10:44 am, 22 Jun 11

Yeh you are probably right Innovation.

I can only speak from my perspective with 4 school age kids and a commute that goes straight down Northbourne.

I and my kids would like to catch the bus occasionaly when our daily commitments allow it but this system serves as an active disincentive.

Why should there be caps and cards ? just pick a price and be done with it, $1 seems fair if this is really about getting cars off the road.

#17
Innovation12:36 pm, 22 Jun 11

I agree. I’m sure that a gold coin (eg $1) for 10km trips or less, on major transport corridors only, plus more regular stops along the way within walking distance of major intersections (for people to park and ride), medium sized shopping centres, business centres and hospitals would easily pull more people onto those runs. Ignoring hidden car costs, at 10km/litre, the bus ride might be cheaper than fuel and might compensate for the slightly extra travel time.

#18
GBT12:58 pm, 22 Jun 11

This pretty much explains what you are charged if you forget to tag off.

“What if I forget to tag off?
If you do not tag off you will be charged the standard cash fare for the trip ($4.00 for adults and $2 for concession holders). If you have reached your daily or monthly trip cap and fail to tag off you will be charged the difference between the default fare and the applicable fare (e.g. $4.00 – $2.52 = $1.48).”

They’re not exactly taking all they can screw you out of.

#19
shadow boxer1:18 pm, 22 Jun 11

I think that reinforces our point, why bother ?

Just chuck a dollar in the tin.

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