With both the Central Railway and Western Railway seeing record crowd, the Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC) has invited firms to give the city’s suburban system a “queue-less” ticketing system.
Speaking to dna, Prabhat Ranjan, chief operations manager of MRVC, said they have kept the scope of the project very wide. “It could be anything from smart cards to mobile phone ticketing system. It should be handy and easy for commuters to use,” said Ranjan.
The Railways’ Vision Statement speaks of a ticketing system where a commuter should get a ticket within five minutes of his/her coming to the station and a booking clerk should be able to dispense five tickets within a minute. At present, both these criteria remain unmet, agreed officials.
As reported earlier in dna, both the CR and the WR are facing problems with their ticket distribution. While the CR sees 41 lakh passengers daily, the WR sees 35 lakh passengers.
The CR, which is doing far better than the WR in terms of quick ticket dispensing, sees around 55 per cent of its tickets being sold from booking windows.
The CR’s suburban stations have a total of 431 windows and many of them working in two shifts to take the total to 860 windows.
The CR has plans to get 400 Automated Ticket Vending Machines (ATVMs) and 200 Jan Sadharan Ticket Booking (JTBS) counters to add to the current strength of 300 ATVMs and 174 JTBS.
The JTBS is a system where shops and other establishments in civil areas can have ticket vending system on their premises for which they get a rupee as commission for every ticket sold. Currently, around 19 per cent of CR’s tickets are sold from ATVMs and around 18 per cent by JTBS.
On the WR, however, ATVMs haven’t made much progress. It decommissioned 115 of the 195 ATVMs on the suburban system last year. There are plans to buy 490 ATVMs of which at least 412 will be for the suburban network. However, WR officials say the procurement process is moving at snail’s pace.
These 115 ATVMS before the decommissioning had a share of around 5 per cent in the total tickets sold on the WR suburban system on a daily basis. ATVMs sold 50,000 tickets everyday and earned close to Rs5 lakh daily. The earnings have now come down to Rs4 lakh, said WR officials.
WR’s suburban stations have a total 332 windows. It needs more windows since the number of daily passengers has crossed the 35 lakh mark.