Technology isn’t winning any friends in U.K. transport workers’ unions, right now. Nor is London’s mayor, Boris Johnson, who yesterday announced that almost all ticket offices on the London Underground transport network would close by 2015, with the loss of around 750 jobs. There are 268 ticket offices on the network in total, and around 260 are set to close with only large stations, such as King’s Cross and Heathrow, due to retain a staffed facility in future.
Johnson argued that contactless ticketing via London’s Oyster cards (pictured above), and direct contactless payments for ticketing — support for contactless bank payments at ticket gates is being added to the network next year — are making the need for staffed offices, where uniformed people issue printed paper, redundant.
The big driver, though, is of course money: aka the £270 million savings the plan will generate over five years.
But while technology destroys…
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