The railways has recorded a 300 per cent increase in the number of mobile tickets sold in June 2018 as compared to April 2017. The popularity of the app among commuters and improvement in its features to make it more user-friendly are behind its success.
According to official records, the Central Railway (CR) registered a 175 per cent increase in the number of mobile tickets sold in June 2018 as compared to April 2017. Similarly, the Western Railway (WR) recorded a 300 per cent increase in the number of mobile tickets sold in the same period.
Classified under mobile ticketing, commuters can book single journey tickets and season tickets on the UTS mobile application. A commuter is required to be in proximity of less than 2 km from the station while booking a single journey ticket through the application.
However, officials said they have registered a specific growth in the number of season tickets booked through the application. “We have registered a decent increase in the number of season tickets booked through the application. As compared to 6,417 season tickets booked in April last year, 25,198 were booked in June 2018. Commuters can book their monthly and quarterly passes through the application,” said an official from WR.
Launched in 2016, the app received a poor response initially after commuters complained about being unable to book tickets on the app despite being close to a railway station.
In the past two years, the railways has corrected these glitches to make the application user-friendly.
“Certain minor changes were introduced to help the passenger book the ticket in an efficient way. For example, we reduced the number of tabs to reduce time taken to book mobile tickets. We also rectified various technical errors in the application,” said a railway official.
As compared to other modes of ticketing, mobile ticketing still contributes to less than 2 per cent of the suburban ticket booking. The railways has held many workshops and seminars to increase the use of mobile app for booking tickets.
Chembur resident Mansi Sharma, who has used the UTS mobile ticketing app, said: “ When the app had launched, it would be difficult to book tickets on it. The payment process took a lot of time… Sometimes, one could not select the station properly. I have been using the application since the past three months and it has improved a lot. I book my season ticket between Chembur- Panvel on this application and use it to book other railway journeys if required.”
Both CR and WR see around 80,000 to 1 lakh daily average commuters using mobile tickets.