CASE STUDY

Bus Fare Collection

Fare collection on buses has been chosen as a case study to illustrate the principles and General Theory of Management. It has not been chosen as a theoretical or academic exercise, but because it is a real-life project that involved large sums of money that directly affected the profitability and success of the Company. Fare collection is also something with which everyone is familiar and of which they have direct experience.

This is a real-life case study of an Eastern European bus company operating approximately 100 buses in both urban and country areas. Drivers collect fares and issue tickets from machines that record data on magnetic cassettes. These cassettes and the money collected are handed in to the Company at the end of each shift. It has been known for many years that some drivers do not always issue tickets to passengers, and do not pay in the full amount of money that they have collected. The inspectors from an outside agency are employed under contract to check drivers’ fare collecting and punctuality. Where inspectors find that drivers have failed either to collect money or failed to pay it in they are fined or dismissed. The Company also runs buses in the capital city where ticket machines are automatic and drivers do not collect fares.

Fare collection is a system. All systems consist of processes and controls that are applied to them. Processes consist of resources and activities that are performed on them, whilst controls consist of activities (evaluation and implementation) that require resources. Resources may also be required in order to perform activities. In order to examine systems it is necessary to carry out an investigation. This investigation is similar to the evaluation procedure in the routine system control, and involves an inspection followed by deliberation. However, this inspection does not lead to implementation, but only to recommendations that have to be evaluated by the controllers of the system.

ICONIC DIAGRAM

Fare Collection

This is a diagram of what appear to be the most important components of the Fare Collection System. They are presented in this form in order for us to focus on some of the most essential elements and identify issues associated with them. Using an Iconic Diagram helps people to begin to see relationships between the components and to add further icons and issues that appear to be relevant. There are no formal rules for how to draw an Iconic Diagram; it is meant to evolve and develop as a simplified way of illustrating complex situations. For the purposes of discussion Iconic Diagrams are much more flexible and easy to understand than the usual alternative of discussing formal reports.

SYSTEMS EXAMINATION

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