How often have we heard from management of the need to adopt to change? Or of the exciting world that awaits us under the guise of new technology and new ways of working?
Well under Public Transport Victoria’s (PTV) new technology, the need to adapt to change has more froth and bubble than a spilt café latte.
Take for example the current whizz bang myki system which replaced the old out of puff metcard system.
Under myki, a whole raft of promises were made about the importance of new technologies, upgrades to the ticket office machines, to new barrier arrays and much more. Yet some of the essential upgrades that would add value to the new catch phrase of “passenger experience’ have gone missing in action.
One of these entails the rather basic task of matching staff operated Booking Office machines (TOT’s) to the need of having paywave facilities for EFTPOS and credit card transactions.
How often have we seen a passenger in a queue forget their PIN number, or remark “do you have paywave?” only to be told no we don’t.
Paywave has emerged as a payment system that is very popular with the younger generation and it continues to grow across all age groups in society. PTV with all their mystery shoppers, surveys and whatever else surely would have noticed this simple, but basic omission and rectified it, however it seemed not be a priority to them.
In fact, back in 2016, the RTBU wrote to PTV raising concern around Booking Offices not having paywave technology. PTV responded to the RTBU in 2016 advising that they had commenced works to have paywave installed in Booking Offices. Two years later, and numerous follow up letters and emails from the RTBU we finally received a response from PTV.
PTV have now advised that they have secured funding for a replacement TOT and in their own words “We are in the final stages of issuing a Variation Request to the ticketing service provider to explore and research the marketplace for a next generation Ticket Office Terminal”.
Just like the new stealth fighter jet, this issue appears as a small dot on the PTV radar.
Compare this to the bells and whistles of the PTV jumping at the “mobile myki” and trialling it across the network.
The mobile myki trial has been developed to operate with android smart phones and uses technology that enables the myki to be read through the phone rather than using a myki card.
RTBU members must be gob-smacked at the hypocrisy displayed by PTV .
A hypocrisy that seeks to undermine jobs and limit Station Staff skills in order to feed some hipster style phone fantasy at the expense of passengers basic travelling needs and requirements.
The RTBU continues to defend our rapidly growing public transport system that relies on accessibility to transport for all. On one side we have many unstaffed stations requiring proper disability access and maintenance to poor platform conditions, we have PTV turning a blind eye to the requirements of an expanding network and failing to address key issues. Spending time and money on a technology that is not only restrictive to a minority of the population, but is far less productive than other options in the market is unacceptable.
The RTBU will continue to put pressure on PTV to ensure that they keep to their promises to install paywave and ensure proper consultation with the RTBU. The RTBU will also ensure that continuation training is provided for our members around new technology, in order for improved accessibility and staffing across the network for all our passengers.