Shorter queues at stations, as commuters warm up to ticket-vending machines
Many more suburban railway travellers now use the mechanism rather than wasting precious time in front of booking counters
Here is why you haven’t stood in serpentine queues at Central Railway stations of late. Passengers have become more accustomed to using an Automatic Ticket Vending Machine (ATVM), a Coupon Vending Machine (CVMs), or a Jansadharan Ticket Booking Sevak (JTBS) - the ticket shops outside stations.
In the past few months, the queues have shortened by almost 25 per cent. Central Railway authorities had for long been trying to trim the lines at booking offices by introducing many options for passengers, such as ATVM, JTBS, CVM and, now, station ticket booking sevaks (STBS).
The officials said that the number of tickets issued per day is, on an average, the same as it was in 2011. But the number of people purchasing tickets at counters has gone down by 15 per cent. “Every day, 9.5 lakh Central Railway passengers buy tickets, but 65 per cent of them used unreserved ticket system (UTS) counters in 2011, whereas 40 per cent use the counters now,” said a CR official.
At present, approximately 40 lakh passengers commute by locals on the central lines. If there were 40 passengers standing in a queue to book tickets last year, the number is roughly 30 now. “The reason why the number of passengers standing in lines has reduced is that everybody wants to save time, and if he is getting easier, faster options to buy tickets, he will go for it,” said the official.
At present, a passenger has to spend approximately 20-30 minutes to get a ticket, but the railways are in the process to set a target for supplying tickets in five minutes. Atul Rane, chief PRO, said, “Our aim is to first reduce the ticket-purchasing timing to five minutes. To achieve this, we are concentrating more on JTBS and ATVM, and are also increasing the number of booking counters wherever needed.”
The passengers on the CR network have grown in number within the span of this year. On Raksha Bandhan, the railways recorded a total of 53 lakh passengers, while on Ganpati immersion day the number was 65 lakh.
Number of JTBS counters on the Central line
Number of ATVMs (expected to go up by another 286 soon )