Railways want you to book season tickets online
Authorities have been on a drive to spread awareness about the facility to book season tickets on the Internet; the scheme was started way back in 2006, but never really gained popularity among commuters
With Android phones, multiple phone apps and online shopping and banking being part of everyday life for Mumbaikars, the railways are once again trying to revive their online suburban season ticketing system in 2014. They are hoping that the frenzy with which tickets for long distance trains are booked online, will also be carried over for suburban trains.
In order to publicise the facility to book season tickets online, rail authorities are pasting posters inside local trains, detailing the information about the scheme. The posters mention several features of booking the ticket online (see box for details). Season passes for trains can be booked between two and ten days in advance, before expiry of the current pass.
Although this scheme started way back in 2006, it received a lukewarm response. In fact, of the total tickets sold in a day by each of these railways, which runs into lakhs, the contribution via the online medium is negligible less than 100 season passes sold per day.
For instance, on Western Railway (WR), every day 100 passes are booked online on an average using the Internet-based scheme, while on Central Railway (CR), only 50 people are said to book season tickets daily. In contrast, the total number of tickets sold on WR is close to 6 lakh, while that on CR is nearly 10 lakh.
On WR, the sales of tickets through ATVM and CVM machines are around 18 per cent, while on CR, it’s close to 27 per cent. This comes up to nearly 2 lakh tickets through the machines on both networks. In comparison to this, sales of season passes on the Internet are paltry less than 1 per cent of the total sales.
Railway authorities want more people to make use of the scheme. Sharat Chandrayan, chief PRO, WR, said, “We’re trying to popularise this medium for booking tickets, which until now hasn’t gained much momentum.” Atul Rane, chief PRO, CR, told this reporter, “In this age of the Internet, we want everyone to use this facility to book tickets easily.”
How to register
>> Log on to www.irctc.co.in and click on the 'New users sign up' link, if you're a new user, and fill the registration form
>> Select the option for 'Mumbai suburban season ticket' while registering and login to book season tickets
Advantages of booking online
>> The ticket will be delivered to an address of your choice within 96 hours (including two working days)
>> You can book tickets between 3 am and 11 pm
>> Payment can be made via credit card, debit card, net banking, or cash cards
How to book season tickets
>> Registered users should check the 'Mumbai suburban season ticket' checkbox provided on the home page and then log in using their user ID and password
>> The user needs to choose a source and destination station. The system will generate all the valid routes between these two stations, of which the user can select one or more routes
>> To book and use season tickets, a customer must possess, and carry, an ID card issued by Railways while travelling. The number of the ID card has to be provided when booking a season ticket, on which it shall be printed
>> If the ID card number printed on the season ticket does not match with the number of the original ID card carried by the passenger, he/she will be treated as passenger travelling without ticket.