Book local railway tickets on phone at home, get prints the minute you enter stations | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Book local railway tickets on phone at home, get prints the minute you enter stations

The railways have started to install optical character recognition (OCR) machines at stations to scan the QR code that shows on a ticket that is booked using the UTS application on the phone

mumbai Updated: Dec 14, 2017 09:36 IST
Aroosa Ahmed
Aroosa Ahmed
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,railway,tickets
The railways have started to install optical character recognition (OCR) machines at stations to scan the QR code that shows on a ticket that is booked using the UTS application on the phone(HT)

Buy a ticket on your mobile phone from the comfort of your home and get a print without waiting in a queue the minute you enter the local railway station. This will soon be possible for Mumbai’s railway commuters.

Here’s how: the Centre for Railway Information System (CRIS), an organisation under the Indian railways, have started to install optical character recognition (OCR) machines at stations to scan the QR code that shows on a ticket that is booked using the UTS application on the phone. After scanning the code, the machine will print the tickets.

This will ease the life of commuters who are forced to pay a penalty for travelling ticketless in cases where their phone battery dies out or their phone gets stolen.

Earlier, commuters with a mobile ticket had to feed a code given on the mobile into the automatic ticket vending machines (ATVM) to get them printed.

The mobile ticket facility has not got good response so far. The railways are trying various methods to boost the numbers.

Five such machines have been put up at central and western railway stations namely Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT), Ghatkopar, Thane, Dombivli, Kalyan, Churchgate, Dadar, Bandra, Andheri and Borivali. The machines will be operated on a trial period. Based on their success, they will be put up at all railway stations.

In the second phase, the machines will also be available on tickets that are issued on non-smartphones using the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) codes. “The machines will help commuters get tickets without having to feed the code manually [it will be scanned directly]. After the trial period of the machines is over, they will be installed at all railway stations.” said Uday Bobhate, general manager, Mumbai.

MIXED REACTIONS

The escalator at Thakurli railway station that was inaugurated on Wednesday stopped working within hours.

The escalator was thrown open to public at 11am and stopped functioning around 1pm. “Within hours, the escalator stopped functioning. This is the state of most of the escalators at railway stations,” said Anuj Mehta, 30, a commuter.

The railways have spent around Rs70 lakh on the escalator. “The problem was owing to a technical error. We are trying to fix it at the earliest,” said a railway officer from Thakurli station.

Meanwhile, commuters from Dombivli were happy with the free WiFi. “The WiFi network is strong. I hope the facility continues,” said Sandeep Singh, 27, a commuter.

Track maintenance work hits local train services

Maintenance work on the tracks hit the services on the harbour line of the central railway (CR) on Wednesday.

The work was being carried out between Govandi and Chembur railway stations. The CR had also imposed speed restriction to monitor the tracks.

The local train services were delayed by 40 minutes and 23 services were cancelled.

“Track maintenance work was taken up during night block on the harbour railway. We imposed speed restrictions to monitor the alignment of tracks. As a result, there was bunching and delay of local trains,” said Sunil Udasi, chief public relations officer, CR.