CR to replace 50% of dysfunctional ATVMs along railway stations
Mumbai: As the shelf life of 318 of 626 Automatic Ticket Vending Machines has expired, the Central Railway (CR) now plans to replace 300 ATVMs phase-wise
Mumbai: As the shelf life of 318 of 626 Automatic Ticket Vending Machines has expired, the Central Railway (CR) now plans to replace 300 ATVMs phase-wise.
HT had done a status check of stations on November 2 and found that Western Railway (WR) had far fewer dysfunctional ATVMs than CR.
“Around 150 ATVM are in the process of being replaced and another 150 will arrive soon and will be provided at locations where there are defunct ATVM. Due to technical faults, these ATVM have been condemned. Gradually there will be 450 new ATVM with the CR,” said Rajnish Kumar Goyal, Divisional Rail Manager, Mumbai, CR.
However, these ATVM are lying defunct at stations and occupying space. Rather than disposing it, CR continues to keep it at stations as they want to save money by transporting all of these ATVM to a single place. “We can avoid adding to the transportation expenses hence the ATVM continues to lie in the station premises,” said a railway official on condition of anonymity.
“ATVM machines are very important, especially in small stations where ticket counters are closed at night or odd hours. Smartphones may not be affordable to all commuters; even if it is, very few are comfortable booking tickets online at such times ATVM are essential. Railways must ensure all the Machines are functional,” said Siddhesh Desai, General Secretary, of Mumbai Rail Pravasi Sangh
CR plans to also do away with the manual ticket vending procedure and cater to the glitches related to booking tickets from the comfort of one’s home. Currently, only 7% of the total ticket sales on CR happen online or through the Unreserved Ticketing System (UTS) application. “There are many obstacles with the online ticket booking facility wherein there is a radius beyond which commuters cannot book tickets. However, we plan to make this smoother and provide additional ATVM such that the need for having ticket counters will reduce. With the increased number of people being used to digitisation this will make the ticketing process easier,” said Goyal.
ATVMs are kiosks where commuters can pay through UPI or give cash to a facilitator and buy tickets. There are some one-touch machines as well, which are quicker than the regular ATVMs.
These machines were introduced to reduce crowding and long queues at ticket counters. They are placed at convenient locations like railway bridges so that commuters can buy tickets en route.
Smart card-based Automatic Ticket Vending Machine was introduced in November 2007 to reduce the queue length at booking counters. In 2019 it was replaced with one-touch ATVMs.