GERMANY: Duisburg transport operator DVG is testing five Cubic Transportation Systems ticket machines which include video links to its customer service centre.

Passengers can use the video links to talk to customer service staff who can assist with planning journeys and purchasing tickets. The video service is available between 06.00 and 22.00 every day, and is expected to be useful when sales counters are closed or there are queues at the busiest times. Assistance is available in German and English.

The touchscreen machines can also be used around the clock as conventional ticket machines, accepting cash, and card payment.

DVG said the machines cost about €40 000 each, compared to €25 000 for a conventional machine.

‘We want to improve customer service, simplify things for passengers and provide information faster’, said DVG Chief Executive Marcus Wittig.