Delhi Metro removes token counters from 70 stations, time to get tech-savvy
The facility of buying Metro tokens or recharging smart cards will be available at customer care centres. DMRC has said the move is aimed at reducing human interference. DMRC has installed 216 token vending machines and is in the process of adding 215 moredelhi Updated: Sep 18, 2017 17:05 IST
In order to keep human interference to the minimum, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), has removed the token selling counters from 70 of the 164 operational Metro stations in the city.
Officials said in the coming days, ticket counters will be done away at more stations and token will be dispensed from Token Vending Machines (TVMs) only.
However, officials said, tokens will still be available for purchase from the customer care centres. The main aim, they said, was to discouraged human interference in the ticket sale process and instead promote the use of machines installed at Metro stations.
Some of the stations from where DMRC has already removed token counters are Udyog Bhawan, Lok Kalyan Marg, Jor Bagh, Akshardham, Mayur Vihar I, Mandi House and Barakhamba Road.
The DMRC has 216 token vending machines, and is in the process of adding 215 more to take the total number to 431 machines. Earlier, people were reluctant in using the machine as getting change was a task.
But ever since DMRC revised its fares in May this year and with a second fare revision due in October, the fares will be in round figures.
“As part of DMRC’s automation efforts as well as to encourage easy payment options, Token Vending Machines (TVMs) are being installed at all Metro stations. At some stations, ticket office machine (TOMs) have been replaced by TVMs, but the commuters have the option to go to the customer care centres to manually purchase tokens in case they so desire. This facility of purchasing tokens or recharging smart cards manually will continue to be available at the customer care centres of all stations,” said Anuj Dayal, DMRC spokesperson.
The move also comes amid complaints of ticket counter operators cheating passengers, by not returning exact change. The staff, most of who are hired by contractors, are being removed in phases as automation steps in.
“At many stations, DMRC staff is present to assist passengers in getting tokens from the machines. Passengers will be sensitised about the use of such machines. In a city like Delhi, everything should be automated. The machine will also help card users to recharge their cards. However, at stations that are connected to railway stations and bus terminals, where we expect a lot of first time travellers, token counters will continue to operate,” said a DMRC official.
More than 28 lakh passengers use the Delhi Metro daily of which about 70 per cent use smart card to gain entry while rest 30 per cent (about 7.5 lakh) purchase tokens.
Sources said each ticket vending machine costs Rs 15 lakh.
“Not only does it [ticket counters] require staff, it also eats up lots of space at the Metro station. At no point of time, convenience of passengers will be compromised,” the official said.
In stations that will come up in the third phase of the Delhi Metro, limited space will be assigned for ticket counters.