Tuesday, February 8, 2011

MyWay about to go live

Transport for Canberra have updated their website with a page on the MyWay ticketing system which has been in limited use for several months. The page has an FAQ on MyWay use and questions people need answered such as how to add money, how to use it etc. This is a very strong indication that the system is about to become fully operational.

The system trial has had a few hiccups,  with the drivers not being able to understand french instructions on the MyWay terminals and the manufacturer having to change some minor interface functions (such as the language) to make it suitable for ACTIONS workforce.
Interestingly the information is hosted on 'Transport for Canberras' website, not ACTION's website. Transport for Canberra is a relatively new government body which is intended to coordinate Transport Policy and operational matters under one management structure. This is a much needed move, which I hope works well. 
The Chief Minister did say last year that the ACT Government will extend use of the MyWay card to pay for ACT Government services such as parking at some point in the near future. The system has cost ACTION $8 million and although the introduction has taken some six months longer than initially planned, it will be a much better ticketing system than the one ACTION currently uses.

If there are any lessons to be learnt from this, it is that by failing to invest in transport infrastructure an existing system will only work for so long before its failings impact upon operations. The existing ticket systems are broken so often that many buses are unable to sell tickets and collect cash. Hopefully this will be resolved very soon.

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