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ACTION’s MyWay card on it’s way

By Holditz 10 September 2010 25

Swipe machine

I sighted the above this afternoon- the first ACTION MyWay card swipe machine.

I’m looking forward to MyWay, I’ve used similar systems in Perth and Melbourne, and overseas in London and Tokyo. It’s definitely so convenient- no fossicking around in pockets for the right change, nor dealing with cards that are wearing out or jam in the machine. Just swipe and you’re on.

But I wonder how popular it’s going to be. I travel ACTION all the time (no alternative, I haven’t a licence). During the weekdays most people use or purchase period tickets (weekly or monthly) or the twenty ride tickets.

During the weekend though it’s mainly cash, from teenagers or senior citizens. I actually get irritated with the senior citizens, many who are regulars on my local route, who keep purchasing two hour tickets, when they would be better off with twenty ride tickets. If they don’t purchase multi-ride tickets what is going to convince them to get a card, let alone learning how to add funds to the card? Teenagers may use the card for school, but do they have the discipline to keep their cards in the black?

Plus it’s never going to get rid of tickets altogether, nor attract people on to the buses. There are people who will only need to take the bus occasionally, and the systemic problems of the ACTION bus system won’t be solved by the card. I expect there will be a hugh PR push to encourage people to take up the card trumpeting how it will make bus riding easier.

Nevertheless I do welcome the introduction of MyWay- it’ll make my commuting easier. Now if they would only outlaw panhandling at bus interchanges that would be the next step.

What’s Your opinion?


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ACTION’s MyWay card on it’s way
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ML-585 12:31 pm 22 Oct 10

Updated information has been released on the ACTION website http://www.action.act.gov.au/myway.html

“MyWay cards will be available to the community from mid-January 2011. … there will be a gradual withdrawal of pre-paid magnetic stripe tickets from sale.”

ML-585 5:01 pm 16 Sep 10

farnarkler: yes it’s like Oyster Card – you place the card on the reader as you tag on and off. (And you can leave it in your wallet while you do so.)

p1: still in early testing mode, so I don’t think it’s been used with any real volume. But it is (should be) exactly like Perth’s system – while theirs does occasionally take two attempts to tag off, as long as you are checking the screen when using it, you will know whether your tag off is successful or not. It will/should also beep for tag offs (tags off?)

Yes there will be a unit at the back door on buses which have a back door. All buses have now been fitted with the brackets onto which the readers will be installed – so you can see where the machines will be. Handy hint: even if the back door is not opened, you will still be able to use the back door validator to tag off as you approach your bus stop.

p1 1:22 pm 13 Sep 10

ML-585 said :

Just one thing to add – you MUST tag off after each bus journey for the correct fare to be charged. If you fail to tag off you may be charged an additional fee next time you tag on.

Has anyone actually used the ACT version yet? I am interested in how quick and consistent the reader unit it? I know some of the complaints about other cities implementation of this technology have revolved around them not reading particularly quickly, resulting in people not always managing to swipe off correctly in a rush, with a bunch of people pushing behind you.

Will the unit be fitted at the back door as well, or are those officially just emergency exits these days?

farnarkler 11:51 am 13 Sep 10

Is this a swipe system like those at supermarkets, where the card is swiped through a channel and has the magnetic strip read? If so, it’s not like London’s Oyster at all. The Oyster card isn’t swiped, it’s put on the reader pad for no more than a second and then beeps to confirm it’s been read.

ML-585 10:42 am 13 Sep 10

Aeek said :

Can I transfer the balance from my 10 ride ticket? It took me 2 years to use the last one.

Yes. Refer to #14. But for a short time, both systems may be in operation.

Eirlys said :

But I think there are 2 main questions how does it work with spontaneous travel (rather then travelling to work every day) and short trips and 2 how much warning will they give us constant travellers before it starts to ensure we don’t waste money on monthlies, 10 trips or weeklies. Given their history of bad communication I don’t hold out much hope.

It will use the current fare structure (sort of). There will not be any “short trip” fares, just the current flat fare with built-in transfer. Not quite sure what question 2 is asking — it works as a stored value card and determines the best fare by itself. Unlike Melbourne’s myki where you have to choose what type of ticket you want (periodical pass vs stored value), MyWay is a stored value card with a fare cap built in. So on any day, you won’t exceed the daily ticket value and in a given month, you won’t exceed the monthly ticket value.

Just one thing to add – you MUST tag off after each bus journey for the correct fare to be charged. If you fail to tag off you may be charged an additional fee next time you tag on.

If you have any further questions, please post them here or have a look at http://actbus.net/forum

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