Myki 2.0 contract signed, new payment technology to be investigated

The Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan has announced that current Myki operator NTT Data has been awarded a new seven year, $700 million, contract to operate Victoria's public transport ticketing system.

In a media release distributed on Tuesday morning, the Minister stated "this is a stronger contract that provides a better deal for Victoria and paves the way for major improvements to myki. It provides stronger performance requirements and will deliver better value for money by ensuring any unanticipated costs are borne by the operator - not taxpayers".

The Minister also stated that the government will "immediately begin investigating new contactless technology, including the ability for passengers to touch on and off with their credit card or smart phone".

No timeframe for the implementation of new access technology was provided however this new aspect of Myki 2.0 builds upon the marked improvements made to fare gates at central Melbourne and select suburban stations; the reduction in time it takes for online topups to credit to a Myki account; and the speed improvements to Myki readers on trams.

New Myki gates at Springvale Station. Image Marcus Wong


Famed for its Oyster smartcard system, implemented last decade, Transport for London (TfL) now offers a myriad of payment options that utilise contactless technology either through smart phones or smart phone accessories.

TfL accepts payment through apps that utilise Apple Pay (launched through ANZ in Australia) and Android Pay (imminent launch by ANZ and Westpac in Australia) as well as local payment methods such as utilising mobile phone credit through the UK Vodafone network.

If I were to create a wishlist for Myki 2.0, it would include the same depth of payment options as TfL's repertoire. Access should also be granted to the public transport network through the use of Bank-issued Visa Paywave and Mastercards Paypass enabled cards.

Notwithstanding the benefits to the Victorians who currently don't have a Myki card, as Melbourne gains more and more interstate and international travellers, allowing them to utilise a wide range of payment options can only be a good thing.

Likewise, bringing non-Myki services like Skybus on to the network should be a priority. An inbound traveller to Melbourne should simply be able to walk off the plane, collect their luggage and then walk on to the bus, swiping their credit/debit card or smartphone in the process and then be on their way.

There would be different fares for Skybus (and no doubt with any future airport rail service) but Myki 2.0 should aim to make access as universal as possible, without the need to have a specific card.

Lead image credit: "Myki improvements are an evolution, not a revolution" (


Alastair Taylor's picture
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Peter H's picture

I wish they'd make interstate services interoperable. They did it over a decade ago with tollways, despite multiple providers with multiple pricing systems (day passes, short trips, long trips). Surely it can't be too hard to have an Opal work in Melbourne and vice versa. If only those designing the systems, and the politicians signing off, actually used them.

And when will Myki work statewide like it was supposed to?

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Alastair Taylor's picture

The point about making the system work with smartphones and bank cards is that anyone travelling between cities wouldn't need to worry about interoperability / getting a card in each: a smartphone is a smartphone, if each state's system works with smartphone technology, then any one (with the right apps/linked bank accounts) could use the system.

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Steve Raider's picture

Getting there. By the wrong route unfortunately, but hopefully it will become a world class system one day.

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HRLV's picture

Its amazing how NASA sent a satellite to Jupiter 5 years ago for $1.1b and its worked first go just this week upon arriving at Jupiter, and we got Myki for $1.58b with all the stuff ups in the implimentation, and now WE (the tax payers) are gifting another $700m to get an upgrade over the next seven years. NTT Data must be laughing all the way to the bank.

Daniel Andrews said the Flinders Street Station Design Competition was an expensive colouring in competition at $1m, then this must be the most expensive plastic card in history of the world (or in the case of touchless technology....most expensive 'nothing' in history). Speaking of the winning design proposal for Flinders Street Station, they say it would have only cost $1.5b - what a missed opportunity.

So glad we spent $1.5b for 7 years of technology (or $214m a year for the last 10 years). So over the moon we are spending $100m a year for the next 7 years to 'upgrade' to already obsolete technology.

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Alastair Taylor's picture

To be fair, $100 million per year won't be spent on the upgrade of the system, a fair chunk of that will simply be the cost to run the current system: staffing costs, data costs, infrastructure maintenance etc.

I've always been reluctant to deal in the absolute numbers when it comes to the pricetag for the implementation and operation of the system - it all got Herald Sunified in the early days, and like the "Sky Rail" tag, this tabloidification of it all has stuck.

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