Lady please, just follow the instructional diagram!
Here in Adelaide, South Australia, we have small, rectangular, paper, bus (tram, train) tickets.
Well, not quite paper, they're more a thin cardboardy thing.
Each single ticket is good for two hours after validation, each multi-trip ticket is good for ten two hour rides.
We've had them for years, so you'd think people would know how to use them by now.
Time after time, people insert their tickets into the validating machine the wrong way.
Either upside down, back to front, or both.
These tickets have a directional arrow printed on one side and the magnetic validating strip on the other side.
(I have photos, but we all know I can't be uploading any)
AND there is a small cardboard instructional image cable-tied to the pole that holds the validating machine.
It's a very clear instruction.
The ticket must be inserted this way!
Yet every day those of us on the bus hear the "boink" of a rejected ticket over and over as someone inserts the ticket the wrong way, spins it around and tries again, then flips it over and tries again, until they eventually get the green light.
Some even have a fist full of tickets and try every single one until they find one that is still within the two hour time limit, or discover they are all out of time and have to buy a new one.
Can’t they check before boarding?
While they are waiting at the stop seems like a good time.
Let’s not mention those who board the bus and then start searching through pockets, purses, handbags looking for their ticket.
Now, let's be clear, I'm not talking about those few people who have never caught a bus before, or catch one maybe once in a blue moon,so don't know the system. (Although they too could just glance at the instruction board, it's right there). Usually they have someone with them who knows how and shows or tells them.
I'm talking about people who ride the bus all the time, those who get on, do the spin around, flip over ticket manouvre again and again while cheerfully stating, "I always get this wrong".
On the other side of the coin are the many, many, many people who get it right.
These tickets are now being phased out with new plastic metro cards being issued.
These are the size of a credit card, and there are machines popping up in various places, such as the train station, or the information centre, where you can insert the card and charge it up with however much cash you'd like by entering your bank information.
The cost is debited from your bank account.
You can also recharge online.
I'm not sure if there is a limit on the amount you can put on the card.
These would seem to be a much better idea, as instead of inserting a ticket on the bus, you only have to touch the card against the circular icon printed on the validating machine.
You can’t get that wrong, surely.
The machine will then show a green light and tell you how many rides you have left.
When your balance is getting too low, it will flash a green and yellow light, so that you know you need to recharge the card soon.
Each ride is still good for the two hours as before, with seniors still travelling free between 9am and 3pm Mondays to Fridays, and all day on weekends and public holidays.
Those of us who hold Seniors cards were sent new Seniors cards in the mail with a little metro card icon in the bottom corner.
When I received mine, I went into the bus information centre and handed in all my unused multitrip tickets and had the $$ balance transferred to my new metro card.
It will solve the problem of people not knowing how to insert the paper ticket.
Really, it will!
How easy is it to just touch the card to the machine?
I think these new metro cards are a great idea, mine seems to work very well and validating on the bus (or tram or train) is much quicker for those of us that have them.