Ticket machine

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Pushbutton and touch screen Deutsche Bahn ticket machines in Hinterzarten, Germany Bahnautomat.jpg
Pushbutton and touch screen Deutsche Bahn ticket machines in Hinterzarten, Germany
In addition to ticket machines, most larger railway stations also feature staffed ticket counters. Pictured: Ticket counters at the Nyugati Railway Station in Budapest, Hungary Penztarak a Nyugatiban.jpg
In addition to ticket machines, most larger railway stations also feature staffed ticket counters. Pictured: Ticket counters at the Nyugati Railway Station in Budapest, Hungary

A ticket machine, also known as a ticket vending machine (TVM), is a vending machine that produces paper or electronic tickets, or recharges a stored-value card or smart card or the user's mobile wallet, typically on a smartphone. For instance, ticket machines dispense train tickets at railway stations, transit tickets at metro stations and tram tickets at some tram stops and in some trams.  Token machines may dispense the ticket in the form of a token which has the same function as a paper or electronic ticket. The typical transaction consists of a user using the display interface to select the type and quantity of tickets and then choosing a payment method of either cash, credit/debit card or smartcard. The ticket(s) are then printed on paper and dispensed to the user, or loaded onto the user's smartcard or smartphone.


Ticket and fare formats

For most of the twentieth century, ticket machines issued paper tickets, or tokens worth one fare each. Later, fare value was loaded onto stored-value cards (first paper, later smart cards). Passengers could load any amount within a range; it did not necessarily have to correspond to any particular single fare. The cards could be reloaded until their expiration date, again with any monetary amount within a given range.

To encourage usage of ticket machines and reduce the need for salespersons, machine prices may in some cases be lower than those at a ticket counter.


Staff-operated machines

A handheld ticket machine used in BEST buses in Mumbai BEST-Electronic-Ticketing-Machine-2.JPG
A handheld ticket machine used in BEST buses in Mumbai

Mechanical ticket machines were used by bus drivers and conductors since the late 1920s. Their functions may include printing tickets, recording of sales and payments. Some manufacturers are MicroFx, Almex, Setright, AEG, CAMP (Compagnie d'Ateliers Mecaniques de Precision), Gibson GFI Genfare, Parkeon, Xerox, Beckson and Corvia (Ticketer).

Since the 1970s (jobs), electronic computer terminals and printers are used.

Handheld ticket machines are used on buses in India to sell tickets, validate smart cards and renew passes. [4] These machines replaced the earlier manual fare collection system where tickets were often punched to indicate journey and fare stages. [5]


In many countries where trains and urban transport tickets operate largely on the honor system (with enforcement by roving inspectors or conductors), there are also machines in stations (or in vehicles) for validating tickets. This is for the situation where one buys a ticket in advance and decides to use it later. Usually, the ticket is time-stamped to determine its validity period. A common problem is forgetting to validate and then being fined as if one had no ticket at all. Such machines are generally not used in the United States. Nearly all American mass transit networks operating on the honor system expect their users to buy tickets immediately before use; regular riders can avoid that inconvenience by buying period passes in advance (often from the same machines that sell daily or one-time tickets). Recently, however, a handful of regional rail systems like Metrolink have adopted the use of validation machines for at least some ticket types.


Ticket machines that are out of service or accept 'exact change only' result in losses for transport providers. Ticket machines on trams in Melbourne, for example, often run out of change when passengers use a higher ratio of $2 and 50c coins, depleting the ticket machine of smaller coin denominations (10c, 20c).[ citation needed ]


Ticket machines are also often used for amusement parks, cinemas (in those cases sometimes called ticketing kiosks), car parking (see pay and display), as well as those that issue free tickets — for example, those for virtual queueing.

See also

Related Research Articles

Metcard Former public transport ticketing system in Melbourne, Australia

Metcard was the brand name of an integrated ticketing system used to access public transport in Melbourne, Australia. It was a universal ticket which allowed users to ride on the city's Metlink and Metropolitan Transit Authority network, consisting of suburban trains, trams, and buses, including the NightRider network. The Metcard was a credit card-sized ticket made out of cardboard and used a magnetic strip to store fare data. Metcard was operated by OneLink Transit Systems under a contract with the Government of Victoria which was managed by the Transport Ticketing Authority.

Oyster card Payment method for public transport in London

The Oyster card is a payment method for public transport in London in the United Kingdom. A standard Oyster card is a blue credit-card-sized stored-value contactless smart card. It is promoted by Transport for London (TfL) and can be used on travel modes across London including London Buses, London Underground, the Docklands Light Railway (DLR), London Overground, Tramlink, some river boat services, and most National Rail services within the London fare zones. Since its introduction in June 2003, more than 86 million cards have been used.

SmartRider is the contactless electronic ticketing system of the Public Transport Authority of Western Australia. The system uses RFID smartcard technology to process public transport fares across public bus, train and ferry services.

Toronto Transit Commission fares

Fares to use the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) transit system in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, can be paid with various media. The price of fares varies according to age, occupation, income level of riders.

Presto card Contactless smart card fare system in Ontario, Canada

The Presto card is a contactless smart card automated fare collection system used on participating public transit systems in the province of Ontario, Canada, specifically in Greater Toronto, Hamilton, and Ottawa. Presto card readers were implemented on a trial basis from 25 June 2007 to 30 September 2008. Full implementation began in November 2009 and it was rolled out across rapid transit stations, railway stations, bus stops and terminals, and transit vehicles on eleven different transit systems.

CharlieCard Public transit smart card used in Boston

The CharlieCard is a contactless smart card used for fare payment for transportation in the Boston area. It is the primary payment method for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) and several regional public transport systems in the U.S. state of Massachusetts.

Fares and ticketing on the Mass Rapid Transit (Singapore)

Because the rail operators are government-assisted profit-based corporations, fares and ticketing on Singapore's Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system are currently aimed at least in breaking even to at least compensate for their costs of running the system. The rail operators collect fares by selling electronic tickets capable of storing data, the price of which is calculated based on the distance between the start and destination stations. These prices increase in fixed stages for standard non-concessionary travel. From the information that was earlier written in these tickets, it is possible to increase the fare according to increments based on approximate distances between stations.

The London Underground metro system of London, England uses a mix of paper and electronic smart-card ticketing.

Myki Public transport ticketing system in Victoria, Australia

Myki is a reloadable credit card-sized contactless smart card ticketing system used for electronic payment of fares on most public transport services in Melbourne and regional Victoria, Australia. Myki replaced the Metcard ticketing system and became fully operational at the end of 2012.


The OV-chipkaart is a contactless smart card system used for all public transport in the Netherlands. First introduced in the Rotterdam Metro in April 2005, it has subsequently been rolled out to other areas and travel modes. It fully replaced the national strippenkaart system for buses, trams, and metro trains in 2011, and the paper ticket system for rail travel in July 2014.

A transit pass or travel card, often referred to as a bus pass or train pass etc., is a ticket that allows a passenger of the service to take either a certain number of pre-purchased trips or unlimited trips within a fixed period of time.

OPUS card

OPUS is a rechargeable, dual interface (contact/contactless) stored-value smart card using the Calypso Standard and is used by major public transit operators in Greater Montreal and Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. It complies with the ISO/IEC 14443 standard for smartcards, and can be read by smartphones with an NFC antenna.

The go card is an electronic smartcard ticketing system developed by Cubic Corporation, which is currently used on the TransLink public transport network in South East Queensland. To use the go card, users hold the card less than 10 cm away from the reader to "touch on" before starting a journey, and must do the same to "touch off" the service at the end of the journey. The cost of each journey is deducted from the go card balance.

Transit Access Pass Public transit smart card used in Los Angeles

The Transit Access Pass (TAP) is a contactless smart card used for automated fare collection on most public transport services within Los Angeles County, California. It is administered by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro), and the card and fare collection systems are manufactured by Cubic Transportation Systems. Metro staff manage the web site and provide customer support functions.

Easy Card Public transit smart card used in the Miami, Florida Metropolitan Area

The Easy Card system is a series of linked contactless smartcard systems used by Miami-Dade Transit and South Florida Regional Transportation Authority in the South Florida area. The Easy Card allows for electronic payment on multiple public transport systems including Miami Metrorail, rapid transit rail system; Tri-Rail, commuter rail system; and Metrobus. Other public transportation agencies in the South Florida area which may eventually join the system include Broward County Transit as well as Palm Tran.

Automated fare collection

An automated fare collection (AFC) system is the collection of components that automate the ticketing system of a public transportation network - an automated version of manual fare collection. An AFC system is usually the basis for integrated ticketing.

Metrocard is a contactless smartcard ticketing system for public transport services in the Adelaide city and suburbs in South Australia. The system is managed by Adelaide Metro and is usable on their bus, train and tram services.

Compass card (British Columbia) Public transit fare collection system in Metro Vancouver, Canada

The Compass card is a contactless smart card automated fare collection system used primarily for public transit in Metro Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Compass card readers were first implemented as a beta in September 2013. Due to delays, full implementation to the general public began in August 2015. The system is operated by Cubic Transportation Systems and is managed by TransLink, the transportation authority for the region.

SEPTA Key Public transit smart card used in Philadelphia

The SEPTA Key card is a smart card that is used for automated fare collection on the SEPTA public transportation network in the Philadelphia metropolitan area. It can be used throughout SEPTA's transit system, and on Regional Rail.


  1. M. A. C. Home, Automatic Fare Collection on the London Underground and London Buses, Chapter 3
  2. "A brief history of TTC tokens".
  3. Lehman, William (2013-02-04). US Airways. ISBN   9781439650028.
  4. Sen, Somit (4 December 2010). "BEST tickets will be issued electronically". Times of India . Mumbai. Retrieved May 10, 2015.
  5. Sheth, Priya (4 August 2011). "The coloured bus ticket is now a collectible!". The Hindu . Mumbai. Retrieved May 10, 2015.