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With the online ticket-booking app contributing as little as 1 per cent to daily average ticket sales, both the Central Railway (CR) and Western Railway (WR) are planning a survey to determine the reasons behind their smartphone-friendly move remaining unpopular. The feedback will help both CR and WR address the issues faced by commuters while booking tickets online.
In the last two years since the launch of the mobile app to book tickets, its contribution has remained less than 1 per cent to a daily average ticket count. “Ticket bookings via the mobile application has remained around 3,000 on CR and 4,000 on WR, which attract a daily average of 80 lakh and 40 lakh commuters respectively. The survey aims to find out the issues faced by commuters in booking tickets online,” a senior railway official said.
At present, commuters book tickets at the Unreserved Ticketing System (UTS) window counters, JTBS (private operators), Automated Ticket Vending Machines (ATVM) and on the mobile application. The Railway Board has instructed divisions, including CR and WR, to probe why online ticket booking remains unpopular among suburban users.
The survey will test commuters’ awareness about the presence of an online system to book tickets, how easy it is to book tickets through the app, relevance of contents of the app, time taken to complete the transaction and payment modes. It will also question commuters to list issues with the payment and ticket processing.
“We will be distributing these forms among commuters through our ticket collectors and our commercial inspectors at the stations. The survey would commence anytime this week and continue till we have receive sufficient responses to derive a conclusion. We will then work upon the problems,” the official added.
Commuters complained that their tickets would not get issued due to “failure in identification of the handset by the GPS technology” around railway stations. They also complained against receiving unsatisfactory help from queries.
The survey would also question commuters on problems found while using ATVM application. Officials said they aim to encourage direct usage of vending machine to book tickets by commuters.
“ATVM usage by personal smart cards contribute only 15% to the daily average ATVM usage. This reflects the tendency to seek help from facilitators for booking tickets as opposed to keeping a smart card for quick ticket booking. We aim to find their issues with ATVMs and redress it,” an official added. Officials also aim to initiate a common helpline for both railways that commuters can use in case of issues with the machine or mobile app.