Almaty commuters pay broken keys for bus fare 29 марта 2014, 12:40
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Cunning commuters would use anything but money to pay for a bus fare in Almaty, Tengrinews reports.
Instead of tenge coins commuters would sometimes put broken keys, old soviet coins or any foreign currency they can fumble from their pockets into a ticket machine. For the machine it seems there is no difference between an old Soviet coin and a Kazakh 50 tenge. “We put 2 Russian rubles and it sees it as 50 tenge. We take a smashed 20 tyin coin and it becomes 100 tenge. A broken Chinese key turns into 50 tenge,” a representative of a transportation company said putting the coins into the ticket machine.
The coin validators happen to “gulp down” anything and even give change for it. Everyday the cashiers of the public transportation companies have to fish out the metal garbage. According to AlmatyElectroTrans, every month there is up to 30 kilos of the 'alternative payment'.
“There are some unimaginable things put into the validators. We get slugs, shims, foreign coins and old Soviet coins. We have tons of this stuff,” Nadrgali Tokzhanov, Deputy Director General of AlmatyElectroTrans said.
Losses caused by this kind of smart cheating have not been calculated yet, but the transport companies promise to replace the easy-to-fool coin validators with an improved version of the devices in April. However, it is not exactly a happy ending for all the bus companies, because ticket machines are not cheap pieces of equipment. So for the time being only new buss depots will have the new flashy electronic ticket machines at their disposal.
Other companies will have to bear with the “all-eating” ticket machines and hope for the good conscience of the commuters.
By Gyuzel Kamalova