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In last financial year alone, over 250,000 commuters were fined for not travelling with a ‘valid’ Myki ticket. These fines contributed over $44 mn in revenue to Public Transport Victoria (PTV).
Quite a few commuters, angered at the faulty myki ticketing system, challenged these fines. According to a report, more than 40,000 infringement notices had been challenged.
While Department of Transport reviews the Myki-ticketing system, a group of young lawyers in Melbourne have launched a website especially to help and inform commuters of their legal rights.
The website mykifines.org.au is backed by famous human rights barrister Julain Burnside QC, who has been an outspoken critic of the faulty ticketing system.
- The website is designed to help commuters understand and figure out whether they should pay the on-the-spot fine or challenge the ticket.
- It also advises what they should do if they wish to challenge the fine.
- Asks commuters whether they took "all reasonable steps to obtain a valid ticket… at all stages of travelling".
- Asks the user if you topped up your myki card? Did you follow the mandatory steps of touch on? Did you try to use an alternative myki machine to top up, or touch on, if yours wasn't working?
- Informs user about "exceptional or special circumstances" like an emergency; if you were experiencing family violence; if you experienced a traumatic event that day; or having a mental disability, mental illness, serious addiction or being homeless.
This website though comes with a disclaimer which states ‘This website is intended only to provide only a summary and general overview of the options available when you receive a Myki fine. This website is not intended to be comprehensive nor does it constitute legal advice. You should seek legal advice before acting or relying on any of this information.’
Currently, the Myki-inspectors slap $75 on-the-spot fine for not having a valid myki.