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8 October 2021, 09:02

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On a bus without a conductor. Photo by V. Mastyukov, V. Un Da-Sin. 1961 year. Main Archive of Moscow

It was possible to put pennies into the machine, but it did not give change. Also, a device was installed at the box office that does not allow to deceive the machine with a special magnet and drive without a ticket.

In the early 1960s, Moscow began developing automatic checkouts that could be installed directly in the cabin of buses, trams and trolleybuses. The Glavarkhiv has preserved materials about this invention, which later became one of the indispensable in urban transport.

Anti-fraud automatic coin acceptor

The Machine-Building Directorate and the Central Design Bureau for the Design of Equipment for the Meat and Dairy Industry were involved in the creation of a cash register for passenger transport. By that time, these organizations had vast experience in the design of automated equipment and could help create a version of an electromechanical cash register, innovators of the third bus fleet. However, in the end, the box office was invented by the innovators of the third bus fleet. Then, in 1963, an automatic ticket office was tested in one of the buses and looked at how the sale of travel tickets would take place.

The new cash register had three coin receivers. In one it was possible to drop coins in denominations of one, two, three and five kopecks, and in the other two – 10 and 15 kopecks. There was no change in the vending machine. On the other hand, a device was installed here that does not allow a false purchase of a ticket without payment using a special magnet. There was also a device for screening out and returning coins of one and two kopecks to the passenger if they were lowered into the wrong coin acceptor.

Convenient and efficient

The test of the automatic bus cash register was carried out by a special commission with the participation of representatives of the Moscow City Council of National Economy, the Central Design Bureau and the Passenger Transport Department of the Moscow City Executive Committee. In order to check the efficiency of the device as much as possible, a bus with a prototype ticket office was launched on a route with poor road surface. After two weeks of inspections, it became clear that the cash register was working steadily, and, moreover, passengers liked it. And there was not even a gap between the number of tickets issued and the actual revenue based on the testing results.

Then the automatic checkout system began to be tested on trolleybus routes. We also adjusted the adder of coins for three and five kopecks and tested the disconnection of coin acceptors for 10 and 15 kopecks. Efficiency in terms of revenue was also confirmed in trolleybuses.

In addition, the new equipment greatly simplified the collection process. Now cassettes with a declared value, which was determined by an automatic counter, were immediately handed over to the cashier of the State Bank. And this already made it possible to reduce the staff of cashiers at transport enterprises.

In addition to the cash machines themselves, manual composters were installed in land transport. With their help, passengers who used ticket books for travel could independently redeem the coupon. Such composters also made it possible for citizens to buy the required number of tickets in advance.

As soon as the tests were over, active production and installation of cash machines and punching machines began on all routes of passenger transport. Thanks to the new equipment, the need for conductors has disappeared. Passengers could now buy and punch their own travel passes themselves. Over time, all this new equipment has become an integral part of the capital’s transport for many years.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.

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