SCRAP MYKI – MAKE PT FREE!
4pm Friday May 25, 2012
Transport Minister’s Office
121 Exhibition Street, Melbourne CBD
Organised by FIGHTBACK!
So far, more than $1.35 billion has been spent on the development of myki, paid to a consortium of private companies. Compare this to the $350 million per year (adjusted for inflation) spent on public transport before privatization!
For more than a decade, fares have been increased well above inflation, often on the recommendation of private operators. These same operators have shown themselves incapable of running the system efficiently. Overall, privatisation has cost the public over $2 billion more than public ownership!
While most people are concerned about the impact of car pollution on air quality and climate change, most Melburnians travel by car, in part because public services are inadequate and poorly integrated.
In order to get more people using public transport, improvement and expansion of the system is necessary. However, myki means passengers have fewer opportunities to purchase tickets, and the new vending machines cause notoriously long lines.
On top of this, the myki system is designed to shift the burden of ticket management onto passengers. Rather than purchasing a fare for their travel zones in advance, passengers are required to ‘prove’ they haven’t travelled in both zones by touching off at the end of each journey. This causes particular problems on crowded buses. If a passenger has a monthly or weekly pass, they still need to touch on and off to ensure that train station barriers work correctly. Myki readers at smaller stations often go offline for short bursts of time, seemingly at random. And all myki readers appear to suffer from inconsistent response times when detecting the myki card.
If the public transport system was free, none of this would be necessary. Contrary to popular belief, it would be very affordable to run the system for free. The cost would be comparable to the cost of major road projects. Money saved from ticketing costs and enforcement could be spent on genuine improvements to infrastructure and expansion of services. A free, integrated and properly staffed public transport network, under public ownership and control, is worth fighting for!