From personal experience, I find that staff at MRT stations here are usually present to assist commuters at the ticketing machines, especially at stations with a high volume of tourists (S'pore MRT can learn from Hong Kong's system, by Mr David Kong; Aug 2).
The map of the MRT network is displayed on the ticketing machine's screen. This is useful as those buying single-trip tickets can select their destination on the virtual map.
MRT operators should encourage locals and tourists to embrace new smart technology.
It would be counterproductive to Singapore's Smart Nation goal if single-trip ticket purchase service was offered at the ticketing office.
The reduction in cash-handling costs and manpower could be used in other areas such as track maintenance.
Extra attention should be paid to streamlining the process to help people become open to innovations.
Sherman Peh Hong Wah