Victorians will be able to tap-on to public transport using their smartphone under a ‘mobile myki’ trial.
A thousand Android users will begin the six-month trial in July, using a smartphone app that works with existing myki readers across trains, trams and buses.
It will cost taxpayers between $2 million and $3 million, on top of the current $700 million ticketing contract running until 2023.
The trial – using a Public Transport Victoria (PTV) test group – will be expanded to a wider public trial later in the year. A decision will be made next year on whether to expand the technology to all passengers.
“It’s important to get this right. This is new technology, it’s not been trialled anywhere else in the world on a multi-modal scale,” Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan said.
Ms Allan said physical cards would not be phased out.
“Those cards will always exist because not everybody will want to use the technology in this way.”
It would minimise the chance of people forgetting their myki, and reduce queues around ticketing machines, she said.
“This will mean that the phones can store the card and people will be able to use the existing readers, the existing gates to participate in the trial,” Ms Allan said.
Myki has 12 million active users, with 700 million annual transactions.
The cards can be used across Melbourne, as well as V/Line commuter rail services between Melbourne and Wendouree, Eaglehawk/Epsom, Seymour, Traralgon and Waurn Ponds.
The cards can also be used on regional buses at Bacchus Marsh, Ballarat, Bendigo, Bellarine Peninsula, Churchill, Eildon, Geelong, Kilmore, Mornington Peninsula, Seymour, Wallan and Warragul town buses and Latrobe Valley intertown buses.
NSW in March began trialling credit cards to tap-on at Sydney ferries and light rail in place of Opal cards. That trial also functions with mobile wallets on smartphones linked to credit cards.