The Central Railway (CR) noted a drop of more than 50 per cent in the sale of tickets through the Automatic Ticket Vending Machines (ATVMs) within three days of the administration disallowing railway employees to act as facilitators. Only ex-servicemen are now allowed to sell tickets to commuters through ATVMs.
Between June 24 and 27, the drop was 58 per cent, said railway authorities, with Harbour line commuters being the worst affected.
“There is a huge drop in the ticketing through ATVMs as the CR is now left with only 100 facilitators. Apart from the demand of tickets at booking windows, a demand for coupon booklets has gone up,” said a senior railway official, who did not wish to be named. On June 24, which was the last day that railway employees acted as facilitators, they sold 2.40 lakh tickets through ATVMs. On June 25, the sale of tickets through the facilitators dropped to 1.80 lakh and further to 82,000 on June 26. On June 27, the facilitators sold just around 70,000 tickets, said railway authorities.
Till June 24, there were 704 facilitators, of which 604 were railway employees. Apart from tickets sold by facilitators, on an average 40, 000 smart-card users purchase tickets from ATVMs daily.