Great new myki feature... well, kind of.

Harking back to my very first blog post about online top-ups, there still appears to be some confusion over how long it was meant to take for the topup to arrive at readers, ready to be collected on your card.

Up until recently, in my experience, generally the top-up was available overnight.  So if you apply for the top-up online, even as late as say 10 or 11pm, the top-up was waiting at the myki reader at your station the next morning.  Tram and bus are a bit more problematic (still) however.

However, now there seems to be a major innovation.  A week or so ago I did an online top-up at about 11AM.  On my way home, I was shocked to discover the top-up was applied at around 5.30PM.

Since then I've done a number of similar top-ups in the morning, and they always seem to be there by the time I leave the city that day.  In one or two cases the top-up was available within only a few hours of applying online.

Which is great.  The easier it is for people to top-up, the better.  Particularly since queues at myki machines at city stations seem to be getting longer and longer.

The only issue I can see here is if someone purchases a myki pass for online top-up.  If a pass loaded onto my card as I was travelling home and I wasn't already using a pass, I would use one of my pass travel days in the process.  This would be annoying if I thought that the pass would not load until the next morning.

The only way around this is not to include myki pass in the more than daily top-ups, or to include a feature to allow myki pass to not activate until after a date specified by the user during the online top-up process.  Given the difficulty there seems to be to change even a single word displayed on screen at a myki reader or machine, I don't realistically see that as an option.  So as people discover top-ups are quicker than they used to be, it'll be interesting to see what happens.


  1. At the least, surely it wouldn't be too hard to set a date for online-based passes, and not for station-based pass topups (assuming they are harder to change, and you're more likely to be ready to travel).

    As I've commented before, some sort of way to activate passes separately to myki money would be useful.

  2. On the topic of Pass activation... I recently decided to switch to Myki Pass partly based on the info I read on this excellent blog.

    I just got off the phone with Myki support after making a complaint about what I feel is yet another design flaw in this system.

    On the day in question I traveled by train/tram to work and was charged for one 2-hour journey. All fine.
    After work I then traveled by tram to the city, which, to my mind should have activated a 2nd 2-hour journey.
    Since it was a Friday evening and knowing the queues on a Monday I decided to buy a 33 Myki pass with the knowledge that I should either have a current 2-hour or a day pass.

    I then proceeded to complete my journey expecting to activate the 33 pass on Monday morning, which was my next date of travel.
    Do my chagrin I found that my swipe on to complete my Friday evening journey activated my 33 pass EVEN THOUGH I was currently swiped on AND had already made a journey that day meaning I should have a capped day pass!
    Meaning I lost 3 days of travel on my 33 day pass AND paid for one journey AND a day pass on the Friday!

    When I called Myki customer service I was informed by a supervisor (Naomi) that this was normal behavior and that even tough they were under NO OBLIGATION TO DO SO they would refund the $3.28 for the morning trip as a courtesy but would not extend the Pass by the 3 days. I told her I was not interested in courtesy refund that failed to address the design flaw in the system and that I'd like a call back from the complaints dept.

    Am I nuts here or is this yet another annoying flaw in this system?

  3. Anonymous, I agree it's not really good enough the way passes activate. It would be much better if we could specify a date that it's valid for (or after). Sadly that's not the case. I reckon if you went via the PT Ombudsman you're likely to get the 3 days refunded (as well) but they wouldn't do it again. If you happen to read this please post if you do complain to the ombudsman and let us know how you go.

  4. I've already gone to the ombudsman and specified my desired resolution as being the correction of the design flaw rather than the reimbursement of the days (which I will of course accept if offered) ;P

    The biggest kicker was the person at TTA customer complaints said "You can go to the ombudsman but they have no authority" then she stuttered and said "I mean over design flaws"

    I'd beg to differ. If TTA implemented a system with flaws that made it unreliable or impossible for customers to ensure they have a valid ticket I'm sure the ombudsman could compell them to fix that flaw, right?

    The person at the ombudsman's office was rather shocked when I relayed that part of the conversation.... :D

    Anyhoo I'll keep you posted.


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