A key selling point of Myki is its ability to perform electronic transactions. It is this feature that makes possible an autocompensation scheme which is not possible with the paper-based Metcards. The scheme can be easily implemented without additional hardware. What needs to be done is just to add a little extra programming code. If Metro fails to meet the performance target in a particular month, then compute for each Myki account/ticket whether the Myki holder has travelled on a Myki pass for 28 days or more for the compensable period. If the answer is yes, credit the ticket automatically with the compensation amount when the Myki holder next touches on.
If the autocompensation scheme is implemented, Metro will probably need to pay a considerable amount of compensation to the commuters whenever it fails to achieve its performance targets. I believe that Metro is contractually obliged to make full compensation if every affected commuter requests for it. Hence, it should have budgeted for this expense. But the reality is that only a small percentage of commuters bother to make claims, which means that Metro can pocket whatever that is not claimed and add to its profits. A default autocompensation scheme will be highly welcomed by commuters but is something that is not in the interest of the train operator.
An obvious benefit of this proposal is that the train operator will try even harder to achieve its performance targets. This proposal will remove the need for manpower to process the claims but Metro would probably prefer this over a mandatory compensation for all the commuters affected. This proposal will not impact on the revenues of the State Government as it is the train operator, not the State Government, that pays the compensation. If Metro resists this proposal on the basis that it will affect its bottomline, it can be argued that this is precisely what the compensation is designed for, that is, to ensure there is a compelling reason to meet the performance targets. The compensation should not be used only for compliance or as a tool for public relations but should carry effective purpose.