Couldn't tag on the first tram this morning, all the machines were down. Second was okay.

Coming home had to try a couple of machines before I found one that'd work. Not that the others indicated they were offline, they'd recognise I'd tried to use them and tell me to try again.

Billing went through to the online system overnight, I can see yesterday's trips in there now. It does appear to provide some default view in the transaction history window, so that's better than I'd expected.

Just to make things super-awesome they canceled three trams in a row coming home, then the fourth breezed past three tram-loads of passengers waiting in the windy cold. Fortunately the fifth was a double-length bendy job, so there was room on that.

Looked like several sets of traffic lights were out on Swanston St, too.


Jul. 26th, 2010 07:04 pm
Now that Myki is finally available for use on trams I gave it a go today. Charged my card up with $20 Friday night and it was ready for use Monday morning.

The first machine I used wasn't responsive. Didn't have any indication it was out of service, except for the bit where it didn't do anything. Second machine was fine, as were all subsequent machines.

This seemed to work okay for me, though I wasn't traveling during the peak periods.

The web integration, though... State-of-the-art circa 2005, maybe.

It takes 24 hours to get money on to a card. Prepaid phones have been doing this correctly for several years now, it should be near-instant. Maybe half an hour, tops. Presumably there's no connection between the website (or call-centre) and the real back-end systems and it's all done as a nightly batch job. If it has to be a batch job, it should be much more frequent.

The transaction history page is quite inconvenient to use. It does not seem to be presenting any default view, you have to enter start and finish dates and then toggle all of the checkboxes for transaction types to "on", and if you don't meet its rules -- end date must not be later than today, start date cannot be more than six months minus one day from today -- instead of simply correcting the mistake it presents an error message and requires that you do it yourself.

I can't tell if it's going to show me anything useful though as it doesn't have any data available. Not even the Friday-night top-up shows, let alone the trips today. Which is why I say it doesn't seem to be presenting a default view -- maybe it is, but it's empty...

What it should (obviously) be doing is setting some reasonable defaults and automatically correcting start and end dates if they're out of bounds. And it should simply run the query when you load the page, not expect you to find the "apply filter" button.

On top of this I had some trouble confirming that I was indeed seeing the correct behaviour from the machines. They have a little LCD -- which I can't really read without stopping -- plus three lights across the top -- green, amber, red. Various combinations are documented as having different meanings. Unfortunately the green looks kind of amber-ish to me, and the stupid website which shows diagrams of the lights doesn't show them correctly placed.

That is, for "green + red" it doesn't show a gap where the amber should be, and so on. So you can't just look at the thing and go "oh, first on, middle off, last on means such-and-such".

They have a video you can watch which shows an animated mock-up, except that of course they don't put the "lights" in the right place on that either. They are instead presented as circles on the LCD, not as lights on the top of the unit.

And the machines are supposed to beep to indicate status. They do not appear to do so.

So I am inferring that as there is no "amber + red" combination documented I must have been getting "green + red", which indicates "Okay, but we charged you the default for your last trip because you didn't tag off, despite the instructions being to not tag off on trams except under very specific circumstances which are not being met here."

In theory my four tram trips (two each way to and from work) should convert into a daily fare. Not that I can tell just yet, what with the no-transaction-history problem, but I'll keep an eye out for that over the next few days to confirm it didn't do anything "clever" like bill me for four separate two-hour tickets.


Abort, Rephrase, Ignore?

October 2011

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