Myki is to Melbourne as a glue-covered flagpole is to the common rectum. Painful. Curiously mean-spirited. And slow as shit.

The much-maligned and super-expensive public transport ticketing system hasn’t had a day without controversy since the old Metcard system on Victorian capital’s train, tram, and bus networks was permanently switched off back in 2012.

Aside from the confusing fare structure and complete absence of single-use tickets (largely important for tourists and infrequent public transport users), the system cops its fair share of vitriol for being slow, sluggish, non-intuitive, and needlessly time-consuming. Particularly when it comes to topping up cards at busy train stations or tram stops.

The system’s vending machines have always taken a fair chunk of time to process transactions, only made worse when people (very often) decide they want to pay via EFTPOS, rather than feeding half of Liberia’s deficit into the mouth of a metal beast.

Fortunately, and after years of limping by on a band-aid service, the system looks set for a much-needed upgrade.

Public Transport Victoria today confirmed that contactless card payment options would be rolled out to all top-up vending machines across the city, with the tap-and-go PayWave technology expected to significantly cut down the time it takes to put more money on your card. This is being combined with a software and firmware upgrade for the machines, which will further cut down on waiting times (or so the story goes).

In addition, faster digital validators are being trialled on an E-Class tram, and on bus route 684.

The technology is already in place at city loop train stations like Parliament, and this particularly commuter can personally confirm the whole process has since gone from “inordinately shitful” to “on par with a flu shot” in terms of user experiences.

A PTV spokesperson confirmed the upgrades in a statement issued earlier today:

“Contactless payment for myki vending machines will make topping up quicker and more convenient for passengers.”

“This is the latest in a series of passenger improvements to the myki system, including faster next-generation gates and readers at some of the busiest stations and stops across the network.”

The whole system is the subject of a new state government tender, which could potentially mean even more upgrades are a-comin’. However the good word suggests that current operator NTT Data is the leading candidate to pick up the contract. Because if it’s indescribably broken, why even bother trying to fix the bastard.

Source: The Age.

Photo: Michael Dodge/Getty.