Ticket Vending Machines. Sure, they're sorta helpful, but there's some major BS around it.
First off, has this ever happened to you? You're going to get a ticket outside the station and like a little bit down the way you see your train coming. You're drastically trying to mash buttons and throw your money in, and your ticket decides to take its sweet time coming out. You're muttering one expletive over and over in frustration and anxiety and finally you grab your ticket and run to the train, and it LEAVES right before you get there. Doesn't that just RUIN your day?
Or even worse, you're in the same situation and you're trying to get your old wrinkly dollar bill in, and it keeps jamming or coming back out. That just makes it 100 times worse. I mean, who's the sadistic guy who programmed those money scanner thingies to only accept your bill if it's in the right way, president facing west, right side up, unwrinkled, unfolded, and made in 2003 or sooner... Okay maybe not the last part, but that machine is sure discriminative.
Or how about when you are using loose change and you get up to the machine and it turns out you dropped a nickel along the way or didn't bring enough fare. And with the godforsaken $2.05/$2.30 fare here, I can't blame you. Now, you're up there, anywhere between a couple blocks or a mile away from home, your only choice is to go back home and get a nickel, missing a train or two while doing so, or you could always choose the DELIGHTFUL option of begging for a nickel. Now you may say "Can't that happen on a bus too?" Well, yeah if the driver is a bitter old man, but most of the time they'll be nice and let it slide. A ticket machine has no heart. It has no soul. It is unforgiving and uncaring. It comes from Satan. If you don't have that extra nickel, you're screwed. Now imagine that happens to you on the streetcar outside Fareless Square, where the ticket machines are INSIDE. You realize you lost a nickel and you're stuck IN the streetcar. You're pretty much SOL and although you rarely ever see a fare inspector there, you sure can't transfer without that dang nickel unless the bus operator is nice. So time to head back home. Which also sucks since there's little to no sidewalk on Moody in the mile between the South Waterfront and Riverfront.
Oh, and if a ticket machine is broken, that's always fun, right? Isn't that FUN? Sure, you may get a free ride out of the deal, but most likely you'll get off at the next station and get a ticket there, wasting time, or you'll get pulled over by a fare inspector and have to explain that the previous machine was broken. Yeah, that's convenient. Fun Fact: The chances that the fare inspector will believe you are really really low.
And last off, this is a small thing, but it really really really annoys the crap out of me. If you buy a Month ticket at the store, it looks really cool, like all decorative and stuff. If you buy it at the ticket machine, it comes out all bland, like a normal ticket, just a letter and a date. What, you couldn't think about easily sticking nice Monthly passes in the machine? And that's why Ticket Machines are BS.