To remedy this, they are now proposing to have the machines manned with retired railway personnel who will have their own smart card and accept change from the commuters ???? Clearly a problem that has not been well understood and a solution that lacks creative design.
A couple of weeks ago I came across an interesting article that was talking about the rise in popularity of a Creative Design course at MIT in the US. There is a good need for this right here in Chennai. A few months back the Souther Railways set up new automated vending machines to sell tickets to commuters. The city’s station is scene to long queues of commuters at ticket counters as there are much demand and few open counters. Apparently the new vending machine required a smart card to operate, which means one has to buy the card in the first place. One assumes this was meant to solve the issue to machines issuing change and thus not having to empty them of cash each day. However, given our propensity to neglect schemes for deposit credit, the new venture is a big flop. Regular, pass carrying commuters are buying their monthly or quarterly tickets as before, while daily commuters do not want to part with the deposit money required to obtain a smart card. The result is that queues are still forming and the Railways have spent bad money on machines that are going idle.