You can now book unreserved suburban tickets and season tickets on your smartphones, without waiting in long queues at the ticketing window.
Earlier, the facility was available on the western line only for single or return-journey tickets. But the railways on Friday launched its ambitious paperless mobile ticketing project for all kinds of season tickets on both the Central and Western Railway (WR) on Friday.
Paperless mobile ticketing, although launched, has some restrictions. Commuters using the service can book the ticket from within 2km of the railway premises. The distance will be geo-mapped by the railways. The rule has been put in place to control ticketless travel.
The commuters will have to register their gender, date of birth, address, photo identity (ID) card, its number on the application (see box), select their destination to buy a season ticket and pay fare using ‘R’ wallet.
The commuter will then get a PDF of the season ticket, which will have a scroll running on it. The file cannot be forwarded. The season ticket bought using a mobile phone will be applicable from the next day of booking. This means commuters using mobile ticketing will have to buy or renew their season ticket a day in advance.
Some of the suburban commuters, who used the service on Friday, said they were not able to book the ticket, even after several attempts. “The whole process was taking too long. I received a message that it’s taking little longer than usual, but the process wasn’t completed. Finally I bought a ticket at the counter,” said Sumit Desai, a student.
“The passengers will have to update their version if they are existing user, as the CR stations are newly geo-mapped,” said a CR official.
“At times it takes time to download if the mobile signal is weak or if there are some other barriers,” said Narendra Patil, chief public relations officer, CR.
The launch of the mobile ticketing was done by using a remote control by Union railways minister Suresh Prabhu, who also inaugurated the cash-coin automatic ticket vending machine, using which commuters will be able to buy tickets using cash or ATVM cards or by tendering the exact change.