Non-smartphone users of the Indian Railways will soon be able to book tickets through their mobile phones, Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said here Sunday. The minister was in the city to flag off the Bandra-Gorakhpur Express. “We have already installed many point of sale (POS) machines at many suburban stations for easy transactions for commuters in the city. We are also introducing e-wallets and encouraging payment through mobile applications. We will work towards enabling commuters, who are not in possession of smartphones, to be able to book tickets via their phones,” said Prabhu.
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Prabhu said his ministry’s focus remained on promoting ‘Digital India’ campaign by introducing Wi-Fi services at many railway stations. The ministry is also working to enable e-tendering to promote cashless transactions in railways, he said.
“We are working on making major railway stations on the suburban and long distance route Wi-Fi enabled to promote digital usage. Plans are on to convert all rail transactions through e-tendering so that cashless payment is promoted. All rail vendors are also being exhorted to use digital ways of payment,” he added. At present, commuters are able to book their tickets on the suburban network through booking counters, smart cards and mobile ticketing system. POS machines are installed at some terminals for passenger reservation system (PRS), train bookings and wallet facilities are on the cards.
“I will be very happy if I will be able to book my ticket through my mobile which is not a smartphone. If the process is easy, I will be up for it,” said Shubhada, a regular commuter.
“Mobile ticketing was also introduced by railways, which failed big time. Instead of introducing so many facilities to book tickets from, railways must think at having a uniform ticketing system,” said Subhash Gupta, another commuter.
Prabhu also inaugurated the halt of fast trains on Central Railway network at Diva station Sunday. Hoping for receiving ‘more light’ (Diva) on the station, he said,”I ask forgiveness from Diva commuters for keeping the station in dark for so long as opposed to its name. From Sunday, more fast trains can halt at Diva station and prove to be a respite for the increasing time of commute,” he added.