Systemic Issues and Improvement Opportunities

Systemic issues are one way in which we work with public transport operators to address systemic failings and bring about improvements in the public transport system.

A systemic issue is an issue identified through consideration of a single or series of individual complaints, where the effect of the issue may extend beyond the parties involved. The PTO has the power to investigate, refer and report on systemic issues.

We also identify and refer improvement opportunities to operators and work with them to find lasting solutions. An unresolved improvement opportunity may be escalated to a systemic issue and addressed through that process.

We publish systemic issue case studies on our website and in our annual report.

Systemic Issue Case Study – Accessibility Of Myki Barriers

Bronwyn complained to us about the accessibility of the new myki barriers at Mitcham station.

As part of the redevelopment of Mitcham station, PTV installed barriers which remain closed between 7am and 10pm. The barriers open when consumers touch on their mykis to enter the station. Bronwyn has a visual impairment and commutes at peak times between Mitcham and the city. She has an Access Pass which she shows to staff – she is not required to touch on or off.

As the myki barriers are closed and not staffed, Bronwyn relies on staff in the ticket office to see her and remotely open the barriers. The station was designed so that the ticket office is close to the myki gates. However on most days she experiences delays, sometimes of several minutes. Bronwyn believes that station staff do not see her waiting and other passengers alert staff to her presence. She finds it frustrating and humiliating to be reliant on strangers to alert Metro staff so she can enter the station.

After investigating the complaint, we concluded that this was a systemic issue, which had the potential to affect other consumers. As myki barriers are progressively introduced across metropolitan train stations, this will become an issue at more stations. Because the issue involves fare enforcement policies as well as station procedures, we raised it with both Metro and PTV.

In the course of our investigation we had a number of discussions and meetings with Metro and PTV. Our investigation looked at the reasons behind the practices at the station, as well the operators’ obligations under the Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport 2002 (DSAPT). Our initial view was that the practices at the station were potentially contrary to these obligations.

Metro and PTV reiterated their commitment to ensuring accessibility for all passengers, and proposed a number of changes to address the systemic issue. These include:

  • Leaving the accessible myki barrier open during morning and afternoon peak travel times;
  • During other times, temporarily opening and closing the accessible barrier on a needs basis when staff are not available;
  • Ensuring that these procedures are rolled out to all stations with myki barriers;
  • Training to ensure that all staff are aware of operator obligations under DSAPT; and
  • Briefing PTV Network Development on the issue so that these accessibility considerations are taken into account when new stations are designed.

We considered this to be a good outcome that provided an immediate and ongoing resolution of the systemic issue. We will continue to monitor this issue through the complaints we receive.