Commuters using smart cards for purchasing tickets in Central Railways have sharply increased over the last year. Accordingly, the number of commuters waiting in lines for purchasing tickets from ticket-windows has gone down.
According to data measuring the contribution of suburban traffic to the Central Railways, there has been a surge of 53.56 per cent in the number of automatic ticket vending machine (ATVM) users and a decline of 14 per cent in the number of ticket window users.
The percentage of smart card users has gone up to 32.9 per cent in March 2016 from 21.11 per cent in 2015.
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The data also revealed that the Central Railways have seen an increase of 54.85 per cent in profits due to the increase in smart card users.
The number of commuters depending on unreserved tickets (UTS) have comde down from 59.16 per cent in 2015 to as much as 50.66 per cent in March 2016.
There has also been a significant increase in commuters getting tickets issued from Jan Sadharan Ticket Booking Seva (JTBS) according to the data. JTBS is a scheme of Indian railways that allows entrepreneurs to set up ticket sale counters near railway stations and sell unreserved railway tickets through computerised UTS terminals.
Narendra Patil, Public Relations Officer, Central Railways, said, “The sudden shift of commuters towards the use of smart cards to purchasing tickets reveals an encouraging sign. Mumbaikars are indeed turning to smarter ways of commute by railways. We expect a further rise in the future.”
Amitabh Ojha, DRM, Central Railways, said, “This is a positive trend towards the growth of dependence of Central Railways commuters on faster means of booking tickets. We resolve to become better.”
Vijay Aravamudhan, a railway activist, said, “ATVMs have surely revised the way of booking tickets as time is saved for a commuter. However, promotion and simplification of using ATVM machines are issues which can be looked at by the Central Railways.”