Meanwhile, two of my colleagues went to European city and set themselves the goal of not bothering to get any euros, thereby living the cashless dream. They almost succeeded. They used chip & PIN for everything from meals, to taxi rides to 1.40 euro transit tickets. But on the last day, they were almost defeated. The toilet cubicles in the restaurant had locks on and you needed a 20 cent coin to get in. My colleague crossed his legs and went back to his table. The waitress, presumably noting his odd gait and being familiar with the toilet cubicle cash catastrophe that had befallen him, reached into her pocket and gave him 20 cents! Mission accomplished: a trip to Paris with no euros.
They were actually in that city to talk to some ticketing guys in connection with a project we are working on. I won’t say which transport company was involved, but I will share their figures. For a ticket sold at a ticket office, the cost of sales is four-fifths the average ticket price. For a ticket sold at a vending machine, the cost of sales is one-eighth of the average ticket price. For a ticket sold online, the cost of sales is one twentieth of the average ticket price. So it’s no surprise what the company’s ticketing strategy is.
These opinions are my own (I think) and presented solely in my capacity as an interested member of the general public [posted with ecto]