Shorter ticket queues on Mumbai’s western line: WR to buy 125 ticket vending machines
Commuters can use their smart cards to buy tickets; installation of new ATVMs could begin in a month or two, officials saidUpdated: May 07, 2018 12:54 IST
In a move that will come as a relief to commuters who use smart cards, the Western Railway (WR) is planning to install 125 new automatic ticket vending machines (ATVMs) across stations on Mumbai’s western line. Railway authorities are currently in the process of buying the ATVMs.
Every day, around 36 lakh commuters travel on the western line, many of whom use the smart-card based ATVMs.
WR officials said they have already received bids from firms interested in supplying the new ATVMs. If everything goes as per plan, installation of the new ATVMs will begin within a month or two.
As of now, WR has 358 ATVMs installed across its stations in Mumbai division. However, many of these ATVMs are damaged or defunct, so the actual figure is much lower.
Smart cards are used mostly for booking single-journey tickets and monthly passes. The ATVMs can also be used to book outstation train tickets. For those who don’t have these cards, the WR has appointed AVTM facilitators, who issue tickets through the machines.
Recently, the Central Railway bought around 318 ATVMs that have a new design. Earlier, it had purchased around 600 ATVMs in phases, but many of those machines had stopped working.
The Indian Railways introduced ATVMs on Mumbai’s suburban network for the first time around a decade ago, primarily to try and reduce long queues at the ticket booking windows.
To promote the use of smart cards, the railways used to give passengers a 5% discount on the recharge amount. However, recently the railway board, the policy-making body, reduced the discount to 3%.