Ticket machines to stop metro robbers

Unions have demanded an end to cash payments on the Stockholm metro, saying staff are put at risk by having to handle money. Stockholm Transport (SL) is not prepared to go quite so far but says it already has plans to install ticket machines at the end of next year.

On several occasions this year bus drivers have refused to take cash from customers in response to a spate of robberies on local buses. With 14 attacks on ticket booths last year, SEKO is also calling for the abolition of cash payments on the metro to protect ticket sellers.

“We are doing a lot to make it better. Our ticket booths are now integrated into the walls rather than standing alone and we also have more guards at the stations,” SL’s press officer Björn Holmberg told The Local.

Holmberg stresses that SL is keen to improve the safety of its ticket sellers as much as possible. While the transport provider has plans to introduce a new ticketing and payment system it does not want the new machines to replace its booth operators.

“We want to have automated systems like they have in other European cities.

“The booth operators will sell fewer tickets as a result. They will work more with information, but we do still want them to be able to sell tickets to our customers,” said Holmberg.

But why has it taken so long for Stockholm, one of Europe’s most hi-tech cities, to install ticket machines?

“We also wonder that. We have been working hard to install a new system on the buses and the new metro system should be ready within one year,” said Holmberg.