You may soon be able to buy local railway tickets from automatic ticket vending machines (ATVMs) by paying cash, instead of the current pre-paid card system.
The Central Railway (CR) plans to provide cash-based ATVMs to the Mumbai suburban section within a year.
Subodh Jain, general manager, Central Railway (CR), said: “We are taking various steps to popularise ATVMs and to resolve the problems faced while using it. Along with technical upgradations, the railway board is also working on developing a ticket-dispensing machine that can provide a ticket simply in exchange for cash. It will also give change if the passenger puts a note of higher denomination.”
With the installation of a ticket-dispensing machine, the commuters will be saved the hassle of buying the ATVM card which costs Rs. 50.
The CR has also asked the railway board to reduce the cost of the ATVM card from Rs. 50 to Rs 20.
“The production cost of the ATVM card is Rs. 18. We have asked the board to offer it at Rs. 20. Several measures are being taken to ease the purchase of tickets through ATVM for commuters,” said a senior official requesting anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to the media.
In a recent meeting, Jain directed the Mumbai division officers to install two ATVMs at all stations and monitor them every one hour.
The railway administration has also written to the railway board to sanction 1,000 more ATVMs for the suburban section that will be procured soon.
Currently, there are 225 ATVMs on CR’s 76 stations but around 20% of them are non-functional because of technical problems. Taking the problem into account, the administration has started Jan Sadharan Ticket Booking Sewa, wherein the commuters can buy the tickets from outside the station area by paying Re1 more than the ticket price.