And now the end is near … MyWay to make way for new transport ticketing system

Ian Bushnell 18 February 2020 100

Light rail passengers tap off with their MyWay cards at Alinga Street in the city. Photos: Ian Bushnell

A new ticketing system is on the way for Canberra’s public transport network, promising passengers a variety of flexible payment methods and an app providing improved real-time travel information.

Transport Minister Chris Steel said Transport Canberra had begun a procurement process for the new system which will replace the outdated MyWay ticketing and NXTBUS real-time information systems.

NXTBUS, in particular, has been the source of many complaints from bus passengers about its reliability.

Mr Steel said transport users would be able to pay for their bus or light rail fare using their credit card to tap on and off, as well as other flexible payment options such as a phone, smart device, travel card and other options.

This would also make it easier for visitors to Canberra to use public transport without needing to buy and load money onto a MyWay card.

“Currently travellers need to purchase and top-up a MyWay card where the money is stored on the card itself rather than an account linked to the person, which is not flexible and causes problems like lost cards,” Mr Steel said.

“We want to make it as easy as possible for people to take a ride on Canberra’s public transport system and a good ticketing system is really important to improve the transit experience,” Mr Steel said.

“Many Canberrans have been to other cities around the world where it is much easier to use public transport than it is here because of modern ticketing systems.”

Transport Minister Chris Steel explains how the new system will work.

Mr Steel said children and students would still be able to use a travel card but it would be linked to a central account.

“It will provide parents and students with extra flexibility,” Mr Steel said. “An account based system will enable parents to manage multiple different cards for their children and make it easier to travel every day.”

Mr Steel the new system would provide more functions and flexibility than the NSW account-based Opal card.

Public transport users will also benefit from a range of high-tech features aimed at making it easy to plan, pay for and take public transport.

A new app will include reliable real-time travel information and updates with GPS data allowing travellers to check details of their connecting services.

“We’ve heard from public transport users that they want better real-time information to inform their travel plans. These capabilities will improve the way people travel around our city,” Mr Steel said.

He said the single system would not only provide the front end – ticketing services and real time information for customers and journey planning – but also the back-end support for public transport planners and operations, with much more data available than through the MyWay system.

“It will provide better real-time information based on GPS on buses and light rail vehicles so people can have updates about when services are not running, a change to the schedule, better information as soon as possible, rather than the current system which only provides information up to 90 minutes before the travel occurs,” he said.

The cost of the new system would be released once the procurement is finalised.

Mr Steel said there would a be long development and transition period, with the new system likely to be rolled out next year or possibly even 2022.


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100 Responses to And now the end is near … MyWay to make way for new transport ticketing system
Alex Pringle Alex Pringle 5:02 pm 12 Feb 20

Ticketing works fine, fix the timetable. Two hours between buses on a Saturday is appalling for a national capital city. Hate the new bus timetable even more now.

    Mariel MT Mariel MT 7:59 pm 12 Feb 20

    Alex Pringle because those who made that timetable DOES NOT use public transportation. So..... didn't care. Obviously 🤣

James Carman James Carman 4:28 pm 12 Feb 20

Brittany Richardson Literally just bought a myway🙄

Denise Wilson Denise Wilson 4:24 pm 12 Feb 20

What happens if you do not have a credit card, like my partner ??? Also our ACT Myway cards are also our ACT seniors cards, and their serial numbers have been used for our senior transport cards in other states . . . If you take these seniors cards away from us, what kind of issues are we likely to experience as a result ???

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 5:21 pm 12 Feb 20

    Denise Wilson there will still be a card like today. This is in addition to not as a replacement.

    Boweavil Kat Boweavil Kat 5:37 pm 12 Feb 20

    Denise Wilson if you have debit card it will work like a credit card but draws against the account the card is linked to and isn’t a line of credit.

    Denise Wilson Denise Wilson 7:04 pm 12 Feb 20

    Boweavil Kat oh that is for that. I’m hopeful we will be able to still use our myway cards and they both have credit . . . Lol

Trish Roberts Trish Roberts 4:02 pm 12 Feb 20

My frustration is not so much with real time travel, but with planning journeys ahead of time. E.g., if I need to make 2 separate bus journeys to a specific time at a distant suburb, e.g. medical appointment. I want to plan this ahead of time, e.g. day before, so I can plan the whole journey. Maybe even set my alarm earlier if needed. But I find this difficult with the current system. Today I tried to plan a journey to Holder from Braddon. The Journey Planner gave me options, including the #31. To the best of my knowledge, the #31 goes nowhere near Holder!

    Philip Vels Philip Vels 6:01 pm 12 Feb 20

    Trish Roberts the 31 would take you into Braddon but if you're healthy you can walk from city bus interchange.

    Philip Vels Philip Vels 6:04 pm 12 Feb 20

    Trish Roberts all you need to do is catch R4 or the 65 and then R7

    Philip Vels Philip Vels 6:04 pm 12 Feb 20

    Trish Roberts Google maps is your friend

    Trish Roberts Trish Roberts 6:18 pm 12 Feb 20

    Philip Vels Thanks, the #7 did come up, along with something else I’ve forgotten.

    Trish Roberts Trish Roberts 6:20 pm 12 Feb 20

    Philip Vels Re the #31, I have used it several times. I knew there was no way it would be near Holder. I smiled at “walking;” I’m an old(er) person with mobility issues; walking about 4 or 5 blocks to the city is about my limit, on a good day!

David Brown David Brown 3:35 pm 12 Feb 20

I hope by replace they actually mean supplement?

I need the myway card to get my seniors discount as my credit card does not provide my age with purchases.

    Trish Roberts Trish Roberts 4:04 pm 12 Feb 20

    David Brown Yes, agreed.

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 7:01 pm 12 Feb 20

    David Brown the new system will replace myway but it will have a dedicated card like myway plus contactless.

    David Brown David Brown 7:05 pm 12 Feb 20

    Ashley Wright Ok. Thanks. That is not good though as it will mean yet another plastic card to clog my wallet. I find the combined seniors/bus card convenient.

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 2:59 pm 16 Feb 20

    David Brown don’t see how it is yet another card. If you don’t want to use a credit card you would have the same number of cards you have now.

    Plus and it is too early to say but some systems overseas allow you to register your credit/debit card which in turn allows discounted fares on that card.

    David Brown David Brown 5:30 pm 16 Feb 20

    Ashley Wright I now have one card that does two jobs. If I need a new card that is another card.

Cat Cat Cat Cat 2:38 pm 12 Feb 20

Just need a credit card in Sydney.

Alex Troy Elsworth Adkins Alex Troy Elsworth Adkins 1:03 pm 12 Feb 20

Will you be able to use the opal card?

Robert Hawes Robert Hawes 12:52 pm 12 Feb 20

The big danger is if someone stores credit card information. If this then gets leaked you need a new credit card. And hope nothing worse. There are workarounds, but you need to trust whoever is storing the credit card info.

    Aldith Graves Aldith Graves 1:23 pm 12 Feb 20

    Robert Hawes the danger is having the transit police scanning your credit card (if that is how you pay) to see whether you tagged on to public transport & having hackers in proximity hoovering up your details

    Robert Hawes Robert Hawes 2:15 pm 12 Feb 20

    Aldith Graves no otherwise the same technique could be used in supermarkets.

    Best option is to have one card that works everywhere in Australia and will never be accidentally without money.

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 5:28 pm 12 Feb 20

    Aldith Graves it doesn’t work like that.

    Firstly to read a contactless card you need to be in very close proximity. You would know if a hacker were that close.

    Secondly the way contactless cards work is they have multiple compartments in them. One card is read only and contains information that can identify that card and the card issuer. Then there are other compartments that organisations like public transport system can create and write to and that is the only compartment that “transit police” as you so put it can read. They cannot read any other data on your card other than what their system wrote to your card.

Aldith Graves Aldith Graves 12:51 pm 12 Feb 20

The NXTBUS app is woeful. I hope any fix to the system will show bus cancellations when they become known so people don’t sit or stand at bus stops waiting for buses that only come hourly but are cancelled. I realise the article says it will but until the software is written & tested it is only a guideline

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 5:23 pm 12 Feb 20

    Aldith Graves there is no NXTBUS app!

    There are however 3rd party apps (some that make out they are official apps) that can get data from NXTBUS.

Aldith Graves Aldith Graves 12:08 pm 12 Feb 20

Changing these systems is being done in several jurisdictions - NSW, Qld etc. As long as having a workable credit card isn’t the basis of all payments as not everyone has it & sometimes they get cancelled at very short notice with fraud problems by banks.

    Tim Cole Tim Cole 12:22 pm 12 Feb 20

    These are additional payment options, not replacements.

    Aldith Graves Aldith Graves 1:19 pm 12 Feb 20

    I realise that is the case with the changes to Opal in recent years. I have transit cards for 3 states as I use public transport in all three but have to pay cash in WA because they don’t recognise my Senior card there & would not issue one

    Aldith Graves Aldith Graves 1:26 pm 12 Feb 20

    Tim Cole good because I am happy with a travel card & use them regularly in many cities

Matt Frawley Matt Frawley 11:38 am 12 Feb 20

It's a shame multiple jurisdictions across Australia can't provide a more integrated approach. Some great examples overseas of whole Countries running on a single system.

    Matt Frawley Matt Frawley 6:14 pm 12 Feb 20

    The OV chip card in the Netherlands is a good example

Randy Goldberg Randy Goldberg 11:21 am 12 Feb 20

The RiotACT Andrew Barr ACT Chief Minister

Chris Steel MLA are there more details about the system and "non-adult" fares? There isn't any specific mention about Seniors.

NSW afaik only "replaced" their Adult fare cards with the "tap and go" alternatives. Concession, Seniors, Students, still need their Opals to get their discounted rates.

What about the proposed system? Will it be similar? If there are more details, I'm happy to read them if you share a link.

    Andrew Barr ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr ACT Chief Minister 11:23 am 12 Feb 20

    Randy Goldberg

    Andrew Barr ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr ACT Chief Minister 11:24 am 12 Feb 20

    Randy Goldberg

    A procurement process for the new ticketing system has commenced and more detail will be provided once that process is complete.

Donna Cooke-Bain Donna Cooke-Bain 11:20 am 12 Feb 20

Will be good for tourists and casual users.

Robert McMahon Robert McMahon 10:54 am 12 Feb 20

Concentrate on real time travel info first, then on replacing an already functional ticketing system

Moss Bunney Moss Bunney 10:39 am 12 Feb 20

Read the article people.. The answer to most questions is in the article.

Victor Lee Victor Lee 10:30 am 12 Feb 20

I'm guessing they will end up with a flexible solution which will keep a travel card for those without CC and allow for NFC and CC payments. Hopefully it will be better than the NSW solution.

Ben Roberts Ben Roberts 10:28 am 12 Feb 20

Why is it that bureacrats and their political masters cannot seem content with following existing systems that work really well, eady to use across multiple transport modes and are only improved, not changed. Octopus (Hong Kong) Singapore's systems are great examples.

    Brent Hutch Brent Hutch 11:00 am 12 Feb 20

    You're complaining that they are not following existing systems... Yet they are. Enabling the system so you can use contactless payments with your credit card/device is following places like London and more recently Sydney. This is not revolutionary, but just normal changes following technology improvements.

    Guy Be Guy Be 12:07 pm 12 Feb 20

    Except the credit card system is in use in loads of cities, and is way more convenient than a separate card.

    Tim Cole Tim Cole 12:20 pm 12 Feb 20

    So both Opal in Sydney and Myki in Melbourne have evolved to support card based and app based payment. Nothing wrong with augmenting what we have.

    Brent Hutch Brent Hutch 2:03 pm 12 Feb 20

    Though Myki hasn't evolved to accept card based, only a Myki phone app.

Gemma Jackson Gemma Jackson 10:24 am 12 Feb 20

What about school kids without credit cards or phones?

    Jo Binkin Jo Binkin 10:51 am 12 Feb 20

    Gemma Jackson according to the article kids will still have a travel card but it will be linked to your bank account.... awesome😥 not

    Brent Hutch Brent Hutch 11:02 am 12 Feb 20

    There will still be a travel card of some form. It's just providing more payment options.

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 6:50 pm 12 Feb 20

    Jo Binkin they are talking about it being linked to an myway (replacement) account. Not a bank account. Basically like it is today.

    Julie Hale Julie Hale 8:13 pm 12 Feb 20

    Jo Binkin so then they can lose their card and you can pay for it for weeks before they tell you. Yes I know that story

Brett Olzen Brett Olzen 10:16 am 12 Feb 20

Ridiculous,are we getting a refund then for buying a my way card? It also ends up cheaper using a my way card so are we losing that too?

    Tim Cole Tim Cole 12:18 pm 12 Feb 20

    Brett Olzen given that it hasn't even gone out to tender yet, I'd suggest you've reached boiling point a few months early

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 5:30 pm 12 Feb 20

    Brett Olzen no one will force you to give up your card. And if what happened in Melbourne when they changed systems happens here you will get a one for one swap for a new card. That said there may not be any reason to replace the physical card anyway as they are designed to work across multiple systems anyway.

Gilavon Gilavon 9:50 am 12 Feb 20

People 70 years and older don’t pay for a bus or tram journey, their MyWay tap on-tap off simply gives stats on the number of elderly using the system. How do they “pay” or tap on-tap off with the new whiz-bang system? Not much point using a phone or credit card.

    JC JC 9:31 pm 12 Feb 20

    Phone and credit card is in addition to a standard card. So people in the case you described would do as they do now.

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