Here’s some good news for commuters. Noting the rising demand for Automatic Ticket Vending Machines (ATVM), the Central Railway has ordered 76 machines, of which 10 have been received and will be installed in a week.
“We currently have 175 ATVMs, but there is a high demand and so we will add 76 more by year-end. This will drastically help reduce long queues at stations,” said AK Singh, Public Relations Officer, CR.
The 10 ATVMs will be stationed at Vikhroli, Thane, Mumbra, Rabale, Ghansoli, Dombivali, Seawood, Dadar, Kalyan, Ambernath stations. Some of these, like the Seawood station would be getting this machine for the first time.
The ATVMs have gained popularity amongst commuters and saves them the trouble of standing in long queues for tickets.
According to latest estimates, more than six lakh commuters traveling on the CR use ATVMs and hold smart cards, required to use the machines. CR figures show that in August 2010, 14.45 lakh tickets were issued. This figure has more than doubled for August this year, touching 29.93 lakh
“In view of these figures, we are no anticipating a sale of more than 4 crore tickets, using ATVMs, this year. Earlier, our projected sale was around 3 crore tickets. Keeping this in mind, we have asked for more stationery required to print tickets,” said a CR official who did not wish to be named, because he is not authorised to speak to media.
To boost the use of ATVMs, the CR, early this year, employed facilitators at several stations, who would use the machine and get tickets for those who did not own smart cards.
“The demand for this service has boosted after facilitators were introduced. Currently there are about 250-300 facilitators who sell about 30,000- 40,000 tickets per day,” added the official.