MyWay or the Highway

johnboy 11 April 2011 36
bus interchange

Territory And Municipal Services have announced that the new MyWay cards or cash are now the only ways to catch a bus.

The old ticket system is dead, but students with a term ticket can ride by showing it to the driver.

You can still transfer credit from old tickets to a new MyWay card until the end of the financial year.

More online.


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36 Responses to MyWay or the Highway
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AndyC AndyC 6:50 pm 11 Apr 11

It’s exactly the same system as Sydney has planned to implement (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tcard), so it will be interesting to see how they go with their (much more) complex transport network.

Of course, the success and failure of these systems largely comes down to the people implementing them…

m_ratt m_ratt 6:48 pm 11 Apr 11

Arrow said :

They should make it a “discount” for swiping off. $2.60 for a trip, and $2.50 if you swipe off.

Look at it this way then – $4 for a trip, $2.60 if you tag off.. Enough of a discount to be an incentive?

Gungahlin Al Gungahlin Al 5:13 pm 11 Apr 11

Snave81 said :

@ Gungahlin Al and Keijidosha. If a bit less time was spent complaining on here you could check the balance of your MyWay card online. Most people want to get off a bus quickly, or as quickly as you can having to tag off, so allowing you enough time to read your balance would just delay things too much. If your balance is getting low the yellow light on the top of the card reader comes on to warn you so you don’t have to look at the screen.

The Civic MyWay office is too slow beacuse most customers in there don’t need to be in there. The customers are usually just to lazy to read the MyWay brochure, website or buy a preloaded card from a ticket agent.

The MyWay website explains that BPay doesn’t happen in 24hrs. People have had long enough to check how the MyWay system was going to effect them and to find out information.

How do you propose that the driver reminds people getting off at the back door about the tag off requirement? Yell down the aisle? If tagging off is beyond people they deserve to pay $4.

Wow aren’t you the clever duck? What a pity so many people don’t think like ACTION expects them to – or you. But thank you for the tip about the yellow light. I wonder if it thinks ahead for the bpay time lag??

I just read the bpay details printed on my card and went with that, assuming that it was printed there as it is the fastest and the preferred payment method. Didn’t go near their website.

Personally I figure that if there’s something important I need to know (like the payment lag) it could have been included either on the completely blank back of the card, or on something given to me when I purchased the card.

But I’m also the sort of person that doesn’t bother with timetables and just goes to the bus stop and waits for whatever is next. I suppose you just lurv the timetables and have no problems whatsoever with the way ACTION present them on their oh-so-odious website?

Arrow Arrow 4:35 pm 11 Apr 11

Gungahlin Al said :

Yes you have to swipe off too. The idea is that ACTION can assemble source AND destination data. Which is reasonable.

Indeed, that data will be useful. But it isn’t reasonable to punish you by nearly doubling the ticket price when you forget.

They should make it a “discount” for swiping off. $2.60 for a trip, and $2.50 if you swipe off.

Snave81 said :

@Snave81
The Civic MyWay office is too slow beacuse most customers in there don’t need to be in there. The customers are usually just to lazy to read the MyWay brochure, website or buy a preloaded card from a ticket agent.

The MyWay website explains that BPay doesn’t happen in 24hrs. People have had long enough to check how the MyWay system was going to effect them and to find out information.

How do you propose that the driver reminds people getting off at the back door about the tag off requirement? Yell down the aisle? If tagging off is beyond people they deserve to pay $4.

Sounds like you might work in the Civic office 😉

But seriously, a good system would be easy and welcoming to use.

Instead, problems with Bpay, swiping off, and queues at the offices mean that it is difficult to use and users are punished if they get it wrong.

Hopefully they will get it fixed in due course. But I don’t see how blaming the passengers is the answer Snave81.

Keijidosha Keijidosha 4:27 pm 11 Apr 11

Snave81 said :

@ Gungahlin Al and Keijidosha. If a bit less time was spent complaining on here you could check the balance of your MyWay card online.

I realise that I can check the balance online, however I refuse to register my card in order to view the balance. Registration is an unnecessary requirement given that each card has a unique identifier that could be used for balance checking in the same way it can be used to top up the card. I also draw issue with the tagging machines on the buses as they are an accessibility nightmare. Clearly the task of designing the GUI was left to the work experience kid at 4:30pm on a Friday.

Also I am not just having a whinge in public. As stated above I have written to Action/TAMS about my concerns.

Snave81 Snave81 3:22 pm 11 Apr 11

@ Gungahlin Al and Keijidosha. If a bit less time was spent complaining on here you could check the balance of your MyWay card online. Most people want to get off a bus quickly, or as quickly as you can having to tag off, so allowing you enough time to read your balance would just delay things too much. If your balance is getting low the yellow light on the top of the card reader comes on to warn you so you don’t have to look at the screen.

The Civic MyWay office is too slow beacuse most customers in there don’t need to be in there. The customers are usually just to lazy to read the MyWay brochure, website or buy a preloaded card from a ticket agent.

The MyWay website explains that BPay doesn’t happen in 24hrs. People have had long enough to check how the MyWay system was going to effect them and to find out information.

How do you propose that the driver reminds people getting off at the back door about the tag off requirement? Yell down the aisle? If tagging off is beyond people they deserve to pay $4.

videodrome videodrome 2:12 pm 11 Apr 11

Sheridan said :

topping up your MyWay by Bpay or direct debit gives you a further 5% discount, but you don’t get the discount if you top up by credit card. See bottom of this page: http://www.transport.act.gov.au/myway/fares.html

But if you use your credit card via Bpay you get the best of both worlds.
At least Action got that right – Telstra don’t let you use credit for Bpay.

Sheridan Sheridan 1:33 pm 11 Apr 11

topping up your MyWay by Bpay or direct debit gives you a further 5% discount, but you don’t get the discount if you top up by credit card. See bottom of this page: http://www.transport.act.gov.au/myway/fares.html

i agree that the processing time frames for topping up your card are excessive. it’s annoying but hopefully they will work out the bugs soon.

the bus drivers have been pretty considerate – i’ve seen quite a few people let on for free if their card hasn’t topped up yet or they’ve run out of credit but didn’t know. i haven’t seen anyone kicked off the bus yet.

i bet that the processing of the left over faresaver 10 tickets will take forever. i had a damaged ticket in January that I posted to Action and they still haven’t processed my refund…

videodrome videodrome 12:38 pm 11 Apr 11

As much as I wanted to tirade against all things that change I’m kinda liking the new tag system.
Being an infrequent (twice a week) user and usually off-peak I’m reaping more benefits than most. I only end up paying $1.90 from Kingston. Also – I don’t lose $20 when I forget to take the ticket out of my pocket and throw it in the wash. 🙁
I agree the website is a little lame and you need to read the fine print to work out that a credit card top-up only registers after the next time you use it. WTF? So you never really know if the payment went through other than from your bank statement and hoping for the best next time you tag on. I gave up on the Direct-Debit despite filling out the form once I saw the queue at the office. Anyway paying by credit card gives me award points.
The whole thing still seems pointless. Buses in Canberra will never cover the operational costs so why not just make them free. Certainly would have saved millions on an expensive payment system. Or why not just incorporate the new Tap-And-Pay credit card systems in place without the need for yet another card?

FioBla FioBla 12:10 pm 11 Apr 11

@shirty_bear There is a financial disincentive for not tagging off.

Gungahlin Al Gungahlin Al 12:10 pm 11 Apr 11

Yes you have to swipe off too. The idea is that ACTION can assemble source AND destination data. Which is reasonable.

But they intend (after June I think) to ping you the cash rate (i.e. $4.50) for every trip you don’t swipe off!

2 A4 signs on each bus – all it needs.

Keijidosha Keijidosha 12:07 pm 11 Apr 11

shirty_bear said :

You’ve got to swipe to get OFF a bus? What happens if you don’t? They don’t let you off? They don’t let you on the next one? Seems beyond bizarre …

If you don’t swipe off then you’re charged the cash fare price of $4 instead of $2.52

shirty_bear shirty_bear 11:49 am 11 Apr 11

You’ve got to swipe to get OFF a bus? What happens if you don’t? They don’t let you off? They don’t let you on the next one? Seems beyond bizarre …

(and don’t get me started on the MyWay shop approach … they send you home to do it online coz it’s faster that way … then there’s no way to submit online so maybe post it … but there’s no address given, so you’ve got to take it back to the shop who sent you away to do it online. WTF??? Not impressed. Seems consistent, though.)

FioBla FioBla 11:46 am 11 Apr 11

I’ve decided against direct debit for the usual reasons: I really dislike direct debits from my savings account, and the form sure asks for a ton of information for a bus card (probably myway requires this to provide to the bank). I’ll just add $40 values intermittently manually via credit card—maintaining some balance as a backup against website malfunctions or backend muckups. One can check balances online.

I think most people here are e-savvy to do this. But for those who don’t, those queues (or maintaining a large balance on the card) would be frustrating. Hopefully this is just a first step, and automated machines e.g. credit card –> myway card recharge stations, balance check machines etc popup like those in other cities (e.g. Boston, NY, Singapore, HK come to mind). Small things like that would change this from a annoyingly administrative-heavy service to a pretty good first step.

From memory, the Singapore service forces the user to maintain a balance (called a deposit) so that one can “go negative” (actually not) before recharging. And the HK system allows easy refunds which is good for tourists. But they also have extensive public transport systems.

Gantz Gantz 11:24 am 11 Apr 11

Tag on on, tag off!

How truly hard is that to remember? Such a simple thing…

And the MyWay site appears fine when using FireFox Ver. 4

FioBla FioBla 11:23 am 11 Apr 11

I haven’t yet had a problem with using myway. The website loads fine for me (Safari & FFox). BPay always takes a few days with anything. Credit card should by right be instantaneous, but is not, and is clearly stated as would take 4–5 days (i.e. roughly a working week).

Remembering to tap off is a hassle.

Applications for transferring value from my FareSaver 10 will be accepted today if I’m not mistaken. I’ll be glad to be rid of the paper ticket. Sydney: this is how it’s done. The refill waits, queues, and administrative paper work for balance transfers is slightly disheartening. I’m considering submitting a direct debit (more paper) while I’m applying for balance transfer; I think the system is directing me in that direction—it’s either that, or maintain large balances on the card to avoid manual refills.

Keijidosha Keijidosha 11:04 am 11 Apr 11

Gungahlin Al said :

Certain aspects of this system are royals pains in the butt.

You have maybe a second to see what your remaining credit is on the tiny little blue on blue screen. If you don’t see it and your card runs out, the drivers turf you off. Or you can elect to pay almost double in cash…

I wrote to ACTION/TAMS three weeks ago regarding this (and other concerns) with the MyWay system. Yet to receive a reponse.

trix trix 10:59 am 11 Apr 11

Which is now my cue to find the appropriate place to log a complaint about the appalling options for topping up your card.

I had a day’s worth of travel left, so I went to do the right thing and top it up online. Other than the MyWay shopfront, which is packed out at lunchtime, the ONLY place to manually charge up your card in Civic is the newsagent over from Superbarn. I believe it closes at 6pm. None of the other places I used to buy my tickets from – who are happy to sell you MyWay cards – will top them up.

Get online and find the website doesn’t entirely render properly in Firefox. So professional. No place to submit your email address to receive a receipt (ok, it’s nice to not HAVE to, but if you’re online, how can you not have an email address?). Look at the small print for a BPAY transaction (which I prefer, since I certainly would rather not give someone who can’t code a website for common browsers my CC details), but found it would take “up to three days” for the payment to go through. Well, that sucks, off to the credit card.

Did NOT read the small print for the credit card transaction, because a CC payment is instantaneous, no? Indeed, according to the ACT govt, NO, a CC payment takes “up to” 3 days to clear. I did not find this out till I got my receipt. Oh well, I thought, “up to” probably means tomorrow. No, it didn’t. In fact, it took the three entire banking days after my transaction for it to go through.

While I was desperately trying to find out if the payment had “taken”, I thought I’d try registering my card to then check the balance. Oh, look, same badly-coded page, with no place to leave an email address there either. And that takes “up to” 24 hours to go through. Of course, not having left an email address, there’s no way of knowing when the registration becomes active. Since it wasn’t active within the 24 hours, I basically didn’t bother checking subsequently.

My suggestions:

* Code the website properly, and allow the option to enter an email address
* CC payments should be instantaneous, the way they are everywhere else in the world
* Mandate it so that if you sell MyWay cards, you have to top them up as well.
* If you register your card to check balances, the registration should be instantaneous as well (or within a reasonable interval, such as 15 minutes).

There aren’t that many billions of people who’d be using one of these things, so none of those suggestions should be taxing from a technical viewpoint.

Gungahlin Al Gungahlin Al 10:35 am 11 Apr 11

Certain aspects of this system are royals pains in the butt.

You have maybe a second to see what your remaining credit is on the tiny little blue on blue screen. If you don’t see it and your card runs out, the drivers turf you off. Or you can elect to pay almost double in cash…

The MyWay office in Civic has just two people VERY SLOWLY serving the queue that does a lap of the office then spills out onto the footpath.

Or you can pay it via your phone and Bpay, which I did last week. 24+ hours later and the friendly little machine was still telling me I was out of credit and getting me turfed off. Not amused.

And the swiping off routine? Total pain. You would think that if ACTION want people to get into that habit during this intro period, they would at least put reminder signs for people as they are exiting. Certainly there’s no effort at all by the drivers to remind anyone.

While ranting about buses, is it too much to expect that drivers (especially when they have people standing right out to the door) to brake and accelerate a little more smoothly so people aren’t flung back and forth?

Rollersk8r Rollersk8r 10:02 am 11 Apr 11

I didn’t catch the bus today but interested to hear whether they’re being lenient with this?

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