Ticket collection from ticket machines - discrimination

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Blindtraveler

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thought this would be best here rather than in the ticketing forum as its a wider issue but as ever if a staff member feels otherwise would they kindly move it?

Its very comon these days to purchase tickets online, via mobile or by telephone and(with the acception of XC) PICK THEM UP, FREE OF CHARGE FROM AN AUTOMATED LUMP OF METAL AND PLASTIC AT YOUR CHOSEN STATION.

It became clear to me however on a recent visit to Edinburgh Waverley that there are a great many groups of people to who these machines present challenges and/or impossibilitties. As a Registered Blind person I have never been able to use them and according to a fully sighted friend the text on screan is sometimes so hard to read that even he struggles.

Older travelers, those with dislexia, those in wheelchairs and people with little or no English are also in the affected catigory and earlier this week a representative of each was, by chance in the same cue at the ticket office for the soule purpose of picking up pre-bought tickets. Each time the Clarck was approached, he issued the tickets but was heard to say that its roomered that sometime in the summer ticket offices will no longer be allowed to issue pre bought tickets and the only option will be the machines.

When questioned he seamed to think that larger stations wil have staff on hand to help however what about smaller ones? What about the next round of staff cuts? Is the automation of todays railway about to alionate pax? Has anyone else heard this and most important how do we tackle it. Discuss.


 
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Skymonster

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I don't understand how a ticket machine should be any more difficult for most people - even those with some of disabilities listed - to understand or to operate, than would have been the website through which the booking was made on a computer or mobile. I appreciate however that the machines may pose challenges for some physically impaired people to use and I'd hope that the rail industry would retain maximum flexibility in dealing with passengers with those sorts of genuine / registered disabilities, whatever processes they adopt for other people.

Andy
 

Oswyntail

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I have trouble with these machines. Though I am not "disabled", I do have back trouble and am short sighted so bending over as one must do to see the display is painful - and reading the display nigh impossible. I have been told that this arrangement is because of provision for wheelchair users. IMHO this is at the root of many problems of provision today, that to provide for one group another must be disadvantaged. Why there can not be an adjustable display and control pad, or even dual controls, is beyond me. As for machine-only when will the TOCs realise that transport is a service industry, and depends for much of its success on person-person interaction
 

142094

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Although it isn't ideal, as not every station with a TVM has a booking office, or a booking office that is open, perhaps there should be some sort of option for picking tickets up from the office for those who have problems using the TVMs?

I guess this has become even more of an issue seeing as TOCs such as East Coast now charge to send out tickets in the post if the origin station has TVMs and ticket on departure collection.
 

Greenback

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I have trouble with these machines. Though I am not "disabled", I do have back trouble and am short sighted so bending over as one must do to see the display is painful - and reading the display nigh impossible. I have been told that this arrangement is because of provision for wheelchair users. IMHO this is at the root of many problems of provision today, that to provide for one group another must be disadvantaged. Why there can not be an adjustable display and control pad, or even dual controls, is beyond me. As for machine-only when will the TOCs realise that transport is a service industry, and depends for much of its success on person-person interaction
You are quite right there. Many people will have difficulty in using the machines, whether they are disabled or not. However, there are particular problems for people with certain disabilities, and I find it diffuclt to come up with an affordable solution that would be acceptable to all.

Although it isn't ideal, as not every station with a TVM has a booking office, or a booking office that is open, perhaps there should be some sort of option for picking tickets up from the office for those who have problems using the TVMs?

I guess this has become even more of an issue seeing as TOCs such as East Coast now charge to send out tickets in the post if the origin station has TVMs and ticket on departure collection.
There are, of course, ways around the postage charge. But I expect that it won't always be possible to take advantage of them.

What I would like to see, is more choice for the customer in how they receive their tickets. This should include options to pick up at a nominated station, print at home tickets for those who wish to use that sort of facility, as well as what is offered now.
 

moonrakerz

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perhaps there should be some sort of option for picking tickets up from the office for those who have problems using the TVMs?
My local station is always happy to issue tickets that I have booked on-line, regardless of how (or where) I have said I will collect them.
I guess this has become even more of an issue seeing as TOCs such as East Coast now charge to send out tickets in the post if the origin station has TVMs and ticket on departure collection.
This is a pretty mean "trick" - at my local station the booking office closes at about 1:30 pm (Occasionally, it doesn't open at all !) and it is not an uncommon event to find both TVMs out of use as well.
When I buy in advance now I never leave it until the day of travel to collect my tickets.
This appears to be yet another ill thought out decision taken at higher level and it is left to the customer and the station/train staff to argue (all too often !) the toss about ticketing.........
 

tsr

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Many TVMs now offer their services in multiple languages, although most languages commonly in use are not covered!

One problem I often have is that the touchscreens are too inaccurate for use with the on-screen keyboard required for entering booking references. When a booking office is closed, why should you be expected to use a TVM that has failed in some way or another?

P.S. I have no disabilities or health conditions, and certainly nothing affecting my use of such machines.
 

paul1609

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thought this would be best here rather than in the ticketing forum as its a wider issue but as ever if a staff member feels otherwise would they kindly move it?

Its very comon these days to purchase tickets online, via mobile or by telephone and(with the acception of XC) PICK THEM UP, FREE OF CHARGE FROM AN AUTOMATED LUMP OF METAL AND PLASTIC AT YOUR CHOSEN STATION.

It became clear to me however on a recent visit to Edinburgh Waverley that there are a great many groups of people to who these machines present challenges and/or impossibilitties. As a Registered Blind person I have never been able to use them and according to a fully sighted friend the text on screan is sometimes so hard to read that even he struggles.

Older travelers, those with dislexia, those in wheelchairs and people with little or no English are also in the affected catigory and earlier this week a representative of each was, by chance in the same cue at the ticket office for the soule purpose of picking up pre-bought tickets. Each time the Clarck was approached, he issued the tickets but was heard to say that its roomered that sometime in the summer ticket offices will no longer be allowed to issue pre bought tickets and the only option will be the machines.

When questioned he seamed to think that larger stations wil have staff on hand to help however what about smaller ones? What about the next round of staff cuts? Is the automation of todays railway about to alionate pax? Has anyone else heard this and most important how do we tackle it. Discuss.


Dunno if its just a Southern thing but all their ticket offices seem to be able to print pre booked tickets. Ive got tickets from both Littlehampton and Rye in the last year.
Rye were quite happy to do it even when they didn't have a TVM and it saved me going to Ashford to pick up tickets booked through work.
Rye is a one man band station one member of staff seems to do everything.



 

tony_mac

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I don't understand how a ticket machine should be any more difficult for most people - even those with some of disabilities listed - to understand or to operate, than would have been the website through which the booking was made on a computer or mobile. I appreciate however that the machines may pose challenges for some physically impaired people to use and I'd hope that the rail industry would retain maximum flexibility in dealing with passengers with those sorts of genuine / registered disabilities, whatever processes they adopt for other people.
It seems you are implying that anyone who can use a browser and also reach a TVM does not have a genuine disability.

I imagine that the reason you don't understand the difference between using your own computer and a TVM is because you haven't thought about it.

It seems clear to me that IF using a TVM unassisted is the only way to get hold of a ticket, then it would undoubtedly discriminate against people with disabilities.

Certainly there are many adjustments that they could reasonably make, including posting the tickets.
 

tbtc

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The OP mentions discrimination.

This is a big word, and one I'm not entirely comfortable with here.

First of all, there's obviously no problem in getting tickets posted to your own house. Those with printers can do so at home. At staffed stations you can buy the advanced tickets at the booking office (on a previous day).

Is it really discrimination (with all the connotations that this emotive word has)?
 

WelshBluebird

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I don't understand how a ticket machine should be any more difficult for most people - even those with some of disabilities listed - to understand or to operate, than would have been the website through which the booking was made on a computer or mobile. I appreciate however that the machines may pose challenges for some physically impaired people to use and I'd hope that the rail industry would retain maximum flexibility in dealing with passengers with those sorts of genuine / registered disabilities, whatever processes they adopt for other people.

Andy
Well for one, you have familiarity.
For those of us who are used to technology, and used to using different pieces of technology lots, then it is something we do not think about as we are used to picking up how to use such technology all the time.
But for some other people, it is a lot harder.

My parents are a good example. It took my mother a good month or so to get used to using my old laptop that I gave to her. She was not used to using it, and so took some time getting to know how it works properly (indeed, she still gets a bit confused with what the media buttons on the front of the laptop do).

The same is true for things like TVM's. If you have never used one before, and fall into the category of finding unfamiliar pieces of technology hard to use, then you could quite easily find it simple to buy a ticket online but difficult to use the machine to pick it up. Being disabled, old, or whatever can make that even more of an issue.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
The OP mentions discrimination.

This is a big word, and one I'm not entirely comfortable with here.

First of all, there's obviously no problem in getting tickets posted to your own house. Those with printers can do so at home. At staffed stations you can buy the advanced tickets at the booking office (on a previous day).

Is it really discrimination (with all the connotations that this emotive word has)?
I agree that discrimination isn't really the correct word.
However your reasoning I don't think is fair. Getting tickets posted can cost money and print at home is only available in a minority of situations.

The reason I do not think it is discrimination is because I don't think the railway industry has actually thought about it. And to me, that is what makes something discrimination. They did not go and design a ticketing system that used TVM's with the idea that it may be difficult to use for some people in mind. They just never thought about the fact it may be difficult to use for some people.
 
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tony_mac

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Oddly enough, I don't find the work discrimination to be particularly emotive.
It was described in the disability discrimination act,
in failing to comply with any duty [to make reasonable adjustments] in which the effect of that failure is to make it impossible or unreasonably difficult for the disabled person to make use of any such service

They are supposed to make 'reasonable' adjustments - and should not charge for them.
E.g. If a disabled person cannot use a TVM, but able-boded people can, then they could provide a service at the ticket office, or assist in collecting the ticket, or even post it. All, I think, are reasonable adjustments.

But if TVM collection is free, then they can't charge a disabled person for having to use an alternative.

They just never thought about the fact it may be difficult to use for some people.
The equality act requires them to think about it!
 

tbtc

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Oddly enough, I don't find the work discrimination to be particularly emotive
I do - it's like "racist", in that some people bandy it about quite easily - which devalues the impact that *genuine* discrimination can have.

Since there's no way that you can ensure that every station will have a booking office open for the duration of the day, there will be times when the TVM is the only option at the station (as I mentioned previously, the option to buy your tickets at a staffed station in advance or to get them posted to you is open to all). So is the only way to avoid "discrimination" to shut off the TVMs when there are no staff at the station?

I don't think that you could design a TVM capable of dealing with everyone who is blind/ elderly/ dyslexic/ wheelchair bound/ those with no English (who the OP lists), so if TVMs are discriminatory then the only solution would be to switch them off when stations are unstaffed, or to fully staff every single station all day long (and be willing to print tickets at each booking office)...

AFAIK some TVMs do have an option for using bigger text size (like some websites do), but will stand corrected.
 

krisk

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It just seems like everything these days has to be designed to suit every possible person and situation but that is virtually impossible

If you are at a station with tickets to collect from a machine, can a member of staff or journeycare not help?
 

tony_mac

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I do - it's like "racist", in that some people bandy it about quite easily - which devalues the impact that *genuine* discrimination can have.
Discrimination can be direct - which is what I think you are talking about, and indirect, where there is no intent to cause a problem, but it happens as a result of somebody not making allowances.
I don't know of another word to use, though, the law still describes it as discrimination.

Since there's no way that you can ensure that every station will have a booking office open for the duration of the day, there will be times when the TVM is the only option at the station (as I mentioned previously, the option to buy your tickets at a staffed station in advance or to get them posted to you is open to all).
I would imagine that free postage would meet the requirements of a reasonable adjustment.
What isn't acceptable is having the only free method being one that can't be used by people with disabilities and not providing them with an alternative.

I don't think that you could design a TVM capable of dealing with everyone who is blind/ elderly/ dyslexic/ wheelchair bound/ those with no English (who the OP lists), so if TVMs are discriminatory then the only solution would be to switch them off when stations arie unstaffed, or to fully staff every single station all day long (and be willing to print tickets at each booking office)...
They only have to make 'reasonable' adjustments - which I think could included free posting, providing assistance, print at home tickets, or allowing people to collect tickets from another station on their journey.
(Not speaking English is not a disability, nor is being elderly per se) .
 

tbtc

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(Not speaking English is not a disability, nor is being elderly per se) .
No, but the OP lumped them all together.

What worries me is that any legal challenge will just make the majority worse off (without actually helping the minority). Look at how new trains cannot have small toilets (which took up maybe four seats worth of space) and require "universal" ones (which take up maybe a dozen seats worth of space). So some new stock won't have any toilets (because the enhanced minimum requirements mean it's too expensive in terms of money and space) to provide a "universal" one. There's a danger that TOCs will dumb down (since there's no easy way of providing a TVM that blind people/ dyslexic people etc can easily use.
 

jon0844

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One problem I often have is that the touchscreens are too inaccurate for use with the on-screen keyboard required for entering booking references. When a booking office is closed, why should you be expected to use a TVM that has failed in some way or another?
It's bad enough that the oldest machine at Hatfield has a dodgy resistive screen (such that the mouse pointer jumps all over the place) but I've told the staff many times and they obviously think I'm making it up (and nobody else complains). It's unusable for entering a reference, and hard enough to simply buy a normal ticket!
 

transmanche

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As for machine-only when will the TOCs realise that transport is a service industry, and depends for much of its success on person-person interaction
Not so much TOCs, but DfT? Isn't it the Government who want to make the railways more 'efficient' by reducing ticket office staff?
 

Clip

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indeed. i appreciate the points made Re staff assisting pax with the machine etc however as I tried to point out at the start what about when staffing gets further cut?
More take up of print at home I should imagine though in the case of those who charge to post out tickets should your local station have a TVM maybe include something in the programming of the website that wont charge you should you use a disabled railcard.

Its all I can think of really.
 

calc7

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More take up of print at home I should imagine though in the case of those who charge to post out tickets should your local station have a TVM maybe include something in the programming of the website that wont charge you should you use a disabled railcard.

Its all I can think of really.
Cue everybody buying a Lichfield Trent Valley to Lichfield City SDS (DSB-discount) with each transaction. ;)
 

Wolfie

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Not so much TOCs, but DfT? Isn't it the Government who want to make the railways more 'efficient' by reducing ticket office staff?
Maybe so, but it is the TOCs that are legally liable under the Equalities Act which superceded the Disability Discrimination Act.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
More take up of print at home I should imagine though in the case of those who charge to post out tickets should your local station have a TVM maybe include something in the programming of the website that wont charge you should you use a disabled railcard.

Its all I can think of really.
Sorry but possession of a disabled railcard (or indeed a blue badge in the case of drivers) in no way matches the legal requirements of the Equalities Act.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
My last post was worded poorly and I am having problems editting. What I intended to say was that using possession of a disabled railcard as the criteria for determining a requirement for assistance in no way meets the legal requirements.
 

Speedbird2639

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oh dear wish id never started this
Blindtraveler - with nearly 2000 posts on this site surely you shd have been aware of the levels of pedantry the thread wld decend to? A lot of the more knowledgeable posters on here have great info but too many people spend time arguing abt things like whether its legal to transport sheep over a level crossing with no barriers on a Sunday in a wooden horse drawn cart if the warning sign hasn't been amended to include the Welsh language translation yet (slight, but only slight, exaggeration for emphasis) :D

Some one shd do a survey of posts on the site to find out a) the number of threads referring to 'bye laws' b) the earliest mention of a 'bye law' in a thread when the original post made no reference to one
 

Clip

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Maybe so, but it is the TOCs that are legally liable under the Equalities Act which superceded the Disability Discrimination Act.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---


Sorry but possession of a disabled railcard (or indeed a blue badge in the case of drivers) in no way matches the legal requirements of the Equalities Act.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
My last post was worded poorly and I am having problems editting. What I intended to say was that using possession of a disabled railcard as the criteria for determining a requirement for assistance in no way meets the legal requirements.
I think you may have misunderstood. If the problems are of using a TVM for TOD forpartially sighted people is a problem with being able to view the screens to collect them - and this only applies to those who charge for posting a ticket out to you - then waive it should people use a disabled railcard. Like i said was the only thing i could think of.

Unless the TVMs had a button which would allow the TVM to speak whilst trying to enter your ticket reference.

I really cant think of any other ideas. Can you?
 

DaveNewcastle

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oh dear wish id never started this
Can I just suggest that I'd strongly advise you to register that post with your solicitor as your own original creative work? A.S.A.P.

There might be royalties to be earned by anyone else wishing to use that phrase - its a gem!

[Some parents probably have exactly the same thought about their children!]
 

tsr

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Having a TVM speaking is a really good idea.
Yes, it is. However, it is easy to get annoyed by, and have your personal security breached by, self-service machines in supermarkets. You know, the ones which bellow "PLEASE TAKE YOUR CARD" to every person within a fairly sizeable radius? We want to avoid that sort of annoyance. I suggest that there should be a socket for headphones/earphones to be plugged in for text-to-speech conversion - preferably at a set position on all TVMs (e.g. on the left of the screen, or whatever), and labelled with Braille and large-print text. Therefore, a visually-impaired person will have little difficulty finding a socket, and when the machine detects that an external output device is present, it will automatically play audio commands and information through the audio output. Some ATMs and one or two TVMs already have this feature, I think.

"You have selected an Off Peak Day Return for travel today to Teesside Airport Parkway. Today is Tuesday. Are you sure?" ;)
 

jon0844

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Self checkouts do usually have a volume control, which resets for the next customer.

Why not have the sound default to on but have a clear mute icon for those that want silence? Likewise having audio via a headset is fine, but Bluetooth takes time to pair. Another use for NFC, which can pair by tapping the phone or headset against the TVM. I am sure cash machines will do this before TVMs though!
 
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