Commuter-friendly coupon validation machines (CVMs) on suburban railway stations, will continue to be available for commuters. Railway authorities have managed to integrate the CVMs with its Unreserved Ticketing system (UTS) with the help of the bar-code system.
There are around 575 CVMs, of which, around 350 are on Central Railway, and 225 are on Western Railway.
The Railway Board had announced that CVMs will be phased out and replaced with Automatic Ticketing Vending Machines (ATVMs) from March next year.
It had also stated that it will allow CVMs to continue only if the machines were linked and integrated with the UTS system.
The Western Railway has finally developed a CVM that works well with the bar-code mechanism.
The WR, with help from CRIS, is now developing an ‘exchange protocol’, which may take up to 45 days, said Mahesh Kumar, WR general manager.
Kumar explained that there will be a bar-code on each coupon and a bar-code reader installed inside every machine.
Linked to a computer, the CVM will read bar code on coupon while validating coupon and will sent the details to computer. The computer will send the data to the UTS server.
“While issuing coupons at ticket windows, we will swap those. This way, details of sold coupons will be available with us,” he said.
Kumar added that 158 more CVMs will be installed on WR’s suburban stations.