The on-going problems with the Myki smartcard ticketing system claimed its first politician, Public Transport Secretary Lynne Kosky. She resigned on the 17th of January, saying that she needed to spend more time with her family and that the Myki problems had nothing to do with it.
Ahem, sure, I believe that.
The new Public Transport Minister Martin Pakula will have his hands full trying to turn things around.
For instance, recent press reports say that one in ten Myki users are likely being charged higher fares than they should. In addition, one in ten Melbourne train stations do not have facilities to top off the smartcards, including many of the busiest stations. Others Myki customers are finding that even if they have the facilities, after trying to add credit to their Myki cards, it doesn't show up on their card's account.
Still others customers are using the Myki cards to take tram journeys, which they are not supposed to do. The reason that passengers are being told not to use their Myki card on trams is that the level of accuracy is not up to the minimum 95% accuracy rate.
Given there are 350,000 train journeys per day made by Melbourne commuters, if a majority use Myki smartcards that have even a 2% error rate, things could get ugly.
Robert N. Charette is a Contributing Editor to IEEE Spectrum and an acknowledged international authority on information technology and systems risk management. A self-described “risk ecologist,” he is interested in the intersections of business, political, technological, and societal risks. Charette is an award-winning author of multiple books and numerous articles on the subjects of risk management, project and program management, innovation, and entrepreneurship. A Life Senior Member of the IEEE, Charette was a recipient of the IEEE Computer Society’s Golden Core Award in 2008.