I’m currently going through a little love-hate situation with my chosen mode of transport: the Metro.
Here’s the thing. It’s quick, and convenient, and reasonably-priced. But, the ticketing system is beyond rubbish.
- Tickets are only available from machines – each of which breaks on at least a fortnightly basis.
- The machines only accept coins.
- Not notes, or credit card, or debit card. Just coins.
- Oh, and you can’t use more than 8 of the same denomination of coin in one purchase.
It’s frustrating and inconvenient, and frequently causes people (although not me, I hasten to add) to simply board the train without a ticket if they don’t have the requisite change to buy one. And since there aren’t any barriers, folk mostly get away with it.
However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, because new ticket machines are appearing. These machines take coins, and notes, and cards, and are wonderfully shiny and special, and I can’t wait to get to use one. But it looks as if I may have to, because the ‘gradual roll out’ of machines at the various Metro stations is going so very, very, slowly, and currently all of the stations that I use (which also happen to be some of the busiest stations on the line) are still suffering under the burden of the old machines.
Back in April I had my ticket checked on a train, and asked the Metro staff member when the machines would be arriving at my local station.
In the next couple of months.
It’s now November, which even being generous, is certainly more than ‘a couple of months’ later, and the machines are conspicuously absent.
So today I had a little Twitter chat with @My_Metro, to see if there was any word on the ETA of the end to inconvenience.
Witness the awesome job they did at answering my tweets without actually answering my question:
The thing is, I do love the Metro, but I hate that they’re being so slow with this. And I also hate they’re driving me to the point of ranting about public transport. I promised that I wasn’t going to do that after experience the ridiculous of the ‘system’ they have in Jo’burg, and yet here I am. Complaining.
In summary: whine.