Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Myki Puzzle

The so called smart card technology based Myki public transport ticketing system of Victoria was introduced in later part of 2009 as the most advanced ticketing system to make the commuters' life easy. Even though I had some reservations and opted out from using it at the beginning, after a year of operation of Myki, I expected maturity of the product and thought to give a try.

After few weeks of use, I wanted to verify the usage by checking the Myki transaction history online. To my amazement, I found that Myki system has been designed to give an extra feature - Myki puzzles, to the commuters.

This is how the puzzle works: Myki provides few figures here and there and leaves the rest to be filled by user to figure-out the usage and remaining balance by considering touch on and touch off times, dates, weekends, holidays, the special time-slot schemes for Myki charging, etc, etc. The reason for mentioning "the special charging scheme for Myki" is that if you follow the rules of Metcard you can not successfully complete the Myki puzzle (Eg: See how Myki's 2-hour system works in the screen shot given below). It is a great brain teaser indeed!

"The Myki Puzzle"

Now I have decided that instead of looking for Mx for Sudoku puzzles, I would take printouts of the Myki transaction history whenever I want to kill some time.


  1. It's actually pretty simple. Fares are calculated at touch off. Touch off could be that day, the next day, or even days, weeks later depending on your travel. The two examples above show default fares being applied, and you can see that each has a corresponding simultaneous touch on.

    So, say you take a tram ride. You don't touch off (and you don't have to unless you're traveling in Z2 only and want to get lower fare). You then catch a train. When you touch to the train reader or barrier, you'll receive a default touch off for the tram trip and a simultaneous touch on for the train.

    If you didn't take that train until the next day, you'll still receive the default touch off for the tram the next day.

  2. Thanks for the feedback. But, I don’t agree with your comment that Myki is a simple and straight forward system.

    And, what I wanted to say here is, the Myki transaction record does not show all the details (amounts debited) a customer would like to see, and instead just fills the page mostly with meaningless hyphens.

    For example, in the above screen shot only two debits of $2.94 are shown and by the time $17.64 has been debited. So, customer has to do the puzzle solving to find how much they were charged for their journeys. I don’t think the hyphens do give any straight forward clues on what happened to the remaining $11.76 in this case.

    What is the point to have a so called “transaction record” without all the transaction details (as and when they happen)?