There have been quite a number of posts recently asking about Myki. So I thought it might be a good idea to try to explain how the system works.
Myki is the smart card ticketing system that is replacing Metcard in metropolitan Melbourne and paper tickets on buses in selected regional towns. Myki is a durable and re-usable smart card that stores value to pay your public transport fare, that can be used on all Melbourne's public transport system (trains, bus, and trams).
The main thing to understand at the moment is that Victoria is in the midst of introducing Myki and currently has 2 ticketing systems in place - Metcard and Myki. As of 28 December, Metcard will no longer be used at all, on any public transport throughout the state.
How will this effect short term visitors who want to use public transport for a short period?
Currently, Metcards can be purchased on a bus or tram for use immediately. Visitors can also purchase "Myki visitor packs," which costs $14 (concession is $7), which consists of $8 travel money ($4 on a concession card) from the Visitor Information Centre at Federation Square and the PTV Hub Swanston Street, Corner of Swanston and Little Collins Streets. The cards are non refundable.
I visited the Myki office this morning at Southern Cross station, and was informed that it is the Government's intention to introduce a "paper" ticket for short term use by or before 1 Juanuary 2013 ie, when the Metcard system is terminated. This would eleviate many problems that tourists currently encounter under Myki.
I should also point out that any public transport trip under Myki is cheaper than using Metcard. The savings can be quite substantial. For example the shortest trip with a Metcard, is $0.72 more than with a Myki (zone 2 full fare) and as much as $8.60 (zones 1 & 2 wkends and public holidays).
In no way am I saying that Myki is a better or worse system than Metcard. All I'm trying to do with this post is explain to visitors how the system(s) work and what may be best for them.