By CHARLENE GATT
METCARD machines along the Sydenham train line will be turned off from next week as Myki becomes the new public transport ticketing system.
Work will begin in the last week of February to progressively turn off more than 470 Metcard ticket machines across the metropolitan public transport network.
Metcard machines at Keilor Plains, Watergardens and Ginifer stations will be permanently turned off starting next Monday, while machines at Middle Footscray, St Albans, Tottenham, West Footscray, Sunshine and Albion will be turned off from 5 March.
Metcard machines will only be removed from suburban railway stations when the Myki machines at the station have been enabled to sell full fare Myki cards.
Transport Ticketing Authority Chief Executive Officer Bernie Carolan says public transport users should prepare for the change by ensuring they understand the Myki system and buying a Myki in the coming weeks, as well as using up any Metcards they still have.
Mr Carolan said concession passengers, in particular, needed to prepare for the turning off and removal of Metcard ticket machines.
“When an unstaffed railway station is fully converted to Myki, concession passengers without a Myki will no longer be able to purchase a concession ticket at the time of travel,” he said.
The full rollout is expected to take several months, with the last Metcard machines expected to be removed from CBD stations in July.
By the middle of March all 7-Eleven stores will sell and top up Myki cards and when the rollout of Myki retail outlets is complete in April, passengers will be able to purchase and top up Myki cards at about 800 retailers across Melbourne.
By CHARLENE GATT