Hypothetical: rail companies not accepting cash

Haywain

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How many of those deaths can be directly attributed to putting money in vending machines? I'll hazard a guess at it being around zero.
It could be that zero resulted from football matches, Cheltenham races or travelling on packed underground trains. Should we just let them go on as well? The point is that many measures may not save lives but they do reduce risk and that is why they are put in place.
 
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yorkie

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Let's try to stick to the hypothetical question of train companies not accepting cash rather than get too side tracked please :)
 

ForTheLoveOf

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It could be that zero resulted from football matches, Cheltenham races or travelling on packed underground trains. Should we just let them go on as well? The point is that many measures may not save lives but they do reduce risk and that is why they are put in place.
I am still looking for an explanation of how refusing cash reduces risk over, say, refusing card transactions requiring a PIN. I suspect I won't get one because the truth is probably that it reduces it not at all, or by such a small margin that it's impossible to even prove. Meanwhile, the number of people inconvenienced and denied travel because TfL are probably never going to accept cash again if we're honest here ...
 

yorkie

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I understand this policy extends to London Overground and TfL Rail, which are of course train companies.
They cannot deny travel so they would either need to make arrangements for payment or allow the journey to be made at no cost to the customer.
 

PeterC

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I am still looking for an explanation of how refusing cash reduces risk over, say, refusing card transactions requiring a PIN. I suspect I won't get one because the truth is probably that it reduces it not at all, or by such a small margin that it's impossible to even prove. Meanwhile, the number of people inconvenienced and denied travel because TfL are probably never going to accept cash again if we're honest here ...
Minimal risk from cash if you use a purse. Most men of course carry coin in a pocket kept in place by a handkerchief that is used for wiping the nose.
 

Tetchytyke

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These may be the case in TfL, but the same arguments about cash handling exist in TOCs where the situation is not the same.
The discussion had moved on to TfL taping up TVM coin slots on the grounds of "safety". Which is ridiculous, because using a TVM to load cash on to an Oyster card is the safest way of doing so, as it involves no human interaction with the cash. It is far safer for all concerned than having to give cash to a real person at an Oyster Ticket Stop.

I think the real issue was cost, and best to push the cost of cash handling on to Oyster Ticket Stop retailers.

On NR, the safest thing would be to shut the ticket offices completely (even card payers breathe out over staff, dangerous!) and make everyone use a TVM, especially while passenger numbers remain low.

I'm not sure that's what people would want either?
 

PeterC

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The discussion had moved on to TfL taping up TVM coin slots on the grounds of "safety". Which is ridiculous, because using a TVM to load cash on to an Oyster card is the safest way of doing so, as it involves no human interaction with the cash. It is far safer for all concerned than having to give cash to a real person at an Oyster Ticket Stop.

I think the real issue was cost, and best to push the cost of cash handling on to Oyster Ticket Stop retailers.

On NR, the safest thing would be to shut the ticket offices completely (even card payers breathe out over staff, dangerous!) and make everyone use a TVM, especially while passenger numbers remain low.

I'm not sure that's what people would want either?
Tape up the coint slots and you can furlough the people who emtpy the machines.
 

Tetchytyke

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That's okay then, their health doesn't matter. :|
The people who empty the machines don't touch the cash either, all they do is withdraw the full hopper from the machine and put a new one in. I've watched them do it on the S&B machines on the T&W Metro.

They don't even need to count up, because the TVM does that too. Human interaction with the cash is basically limited to the passenger who puts it in and, if applicable, a passenger who gets change after a purchase.

If a TOC were worried about the safety of cash handling, the TVM is the last thing you'd turn off. Which makes me think most of it is about saving money.

FWIW I agreed with bus companies deciding to go cashless. Bus Vannin did here. But, crucially, Bus Vannin made their pre-paid smartcards free of charge (usually they cost two quid) and accepted cash at their offices where you could buy or top up a pre-paid card.
 

Haywain

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The people who empty the machines don't touch the cash either, all they do is withdraw the full hopper from the machine and put a new one in. I've watched them do it on the S&B machines on the T&W Metro.

They don't even need to count up, because the TVM does that too. Human interaction with the cash is basically limited to the passenger who puts it in and, if applicable, a passenger who gets change after a purchase.

If a TOC were worried about the safety of cash handling, the TVM is the last thing you'd turn off. Which makes me think most of it is about saving money.

FWIW I agreed with bus companies deciding to go cashless. Bus Vannin did here. But, crucially, Bus Vannin made their pre-paid smartcards free of charge (usually they cost two quid) and accepted cash at their offices where you could buy or top up a pre-paid card.
You have some very naive ideas about what happens when a TVM is ‘emptied’ of cash. Of course staff remove the hoppers but they don’t just send the hoppers off to the bank. The hoppers have to be emptied, cash bagged up (counted) for banking or reuse, and hoppers subsequently placed back into TVMs as the ‘new’ one.
 

Tetchytyke

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The hoppers have to be emptied, cash bagged up (counted) for banking or reuse
Of course, but in the student union I worked at we had a counting machine. Surely that technology has reached the railway world.

On a more practical level, Coronavirus can only survive on a hard surface for about 48 hours. Stick the hopper in a cupboard for 3-4 days and then, when you come to cash up, you can guarantee it to be Coronavirus free.
 

ForTheLoveOf

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Ding!

So an infected passenger could then infect another person getting their change.
Even assuming that change is issued from the same part of the machine as cash is collected, surely PIN transactions present a similar, if not greater, risk?

The discussion had moved on to TfL taping up TVM coin slots on the grounds of "safety". Which is ridiculous, because using a TVM to load cash on to an Oyster card is the safest way of doing so, as it involves no human interaction with the cash. It is far safer for all concerned than having to give cash to a real person at an Oyster Ticket Stop.

I think the real issue was cost, and best to push the cost of cash handling on to Oyster Ticket Stop retailers.

On NR, the safest thing would be to shut the ticket offices completely (even card payers breathe out over staff, dangerous!) and make everyone use a TVM, especially while passenger numbers remain low.

I'm not sure that's what people would want either?
The safest thing of all would be to abolish fares entirely. After all, it would avoid a not inconsiderable number of contact points and prevents an unknown amount of risk from being incurred in order to collect a negligible percentage of the usual takings.

But the DfT has decided that keeping fares in operation is an acceptable risk, no doubt because it just so happens that the DfT needs to earn every penny it can to justify continuing to subsidise a barely used railway network.
 

island

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Even assuming that change is issued from the same part of the machine as cash is collected, surely PIN transactions present a similar, if not greater, risk?
I cannot find any holes in that particular argument.

Fortunately for me personally, I use Apple Pay from my Apple Watch, so even large transactions do not need a PIN entry.
 

Tetchytyke

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Ding!

So an infected passenger could then infect another person getting their change.
The same would apply if an infected person were to use the PIN pad, so that justification doesn't fly very far either.

In terms of public transport, I can see the justification for buses being cashless- drivers can't easily wash/sterilise their hands after every passenger. But for TVMs or ticket offices that really doesn't apply.

(ETA I see @ForTheLoveOf has made the same point)
 
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