In the middle of January, passengers of trolleybuses and trams in Kharkiv were finally able to pay the fare with a newly introduced e-ticket, an integrated all-transport pass, which was officially launched on December 1, 2017.
The system was faltering because of development flaws and some cases of intentional damage of the terminals, installed at stops. Therefore, the e-ticket was practically launched a month and a half later than it was officially announced.
However, even now, paying with e-ticket may be seen more an amusing experiment for Kharkivites than a practical service.
Firstly, it is not easy to buy the ticket as there are not enough terminals, some of them do not work or process transactions too slowly.
Secondly, the validators – green devices inside the compartment to pay with e-ticket – are not operating often. According to Nakipelo journalists, they were able to use the e-ticket only in four out of six trolleybuses while traveling on. Also, the system still does not work in most trams.
Kharkiv Observer carried out a survey to find out the city residents’ views on the innovation.
“There are a lot of drawbacks so far,” says Kharkivite Natalia Dombrovska. “The main problem is that there are very few terminals, you cannot pay for another passenger or passengers, your friends, for example. And you cannot take the same trolley on your way back because the card can be used again on the same trolleybus only after a while.”
Some Kharkivites think that the new system will enable cheating and fare dodging as many people might be able to travel without paying the fare at all.
“The most irritating in general, are those promoting billboards, depicting e-tickets and the city council. As if they are boasting about an achievement which still does not exist in reality,” says Kharkiv civic activist Oles Shtefchuk.
“Of course, there should be more terminals to buy the tickets. Right now we lack them. However, I still hope, the system will be improved and will work properly in the end. I think it will be really convenient,” says Kharkivite Dmytro Pyvovarov.
Text, photo: Olena Sokolynska