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Sunday, Sep 22, 2019

Students in Mumbai train commuters to use ticketing app

The students said they get a mixed response from the commuters. While a few are willing to learn how to use the app, others are sceptical about using a digital format to book tickets as they fear cyber fraud.

mumbai Updated: Mar 25, 2019 07:02 IST
Musab Qazi
Musab Qazi
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Students from RD National College, Bandra;  and Thakur College, Kandivli, at Virar station.
Students from RD National College, Bandra; and Thakur College, Kandivli, at Virar station.(Ht Photo)
         

For the past two months, students from various city colleges have been setting up counters at various railway stations to spread awareness among commuters about the railways’ mobile ticketing application UTS, smart cards and automatic ticket vending machines (ATVMs) .

The students said the effort will help curb ticketless travelling and reduce long queues at ticket windows.

“Upon being caught by travelling ticket examiners (TTEs), most ticketless commuters on the suburban railway say they were in a hurry and couldn’t wait in the long queue at the ticket window. So we are teaching commuters how they can use UTS app and save time,” said Arushi Aslam, a student and National Service Scheme (NSS) cadet from RD National College, Bandra.

Vijendra Shekhawat, a teacher from RD National College and western NSS area coordinator, western suburban district, said so far the drive has been conducted at stations such as Virar, Dadar, Prabhadevi and Churchgate.

“The drive is usually organised on weekends, with 20 students volunteering at selected stations. While a few of them man the counter, others approach the commuters,” he added.

The students said they get a mixed response from the commuters. While a few are willing to learn how to use the app, others are sceptical about using a digital format to book tickets as they fear cyber fraud.

Irrespective of the outcome, the students said the drive has been a learning experience.

“The drive taught students to understand and interact with various types of commuters,” said Sushil Shide, NSS programme officer, Thakur College, Kandivli.

The digital literacy drive is part of a nation-wide campaign Self4Soceity, spearheaded by the Centre in association with D-Link (India Ltd).

“Although the [UTS] app is easily accessible, only a few commuters are using it. Many believe they have to share their bank details on the application, which is false,” said Sudhanshu Ojha, head of the D-Link Academy.

He added there are a few technical issues with the application such as delay in issuing a refund when a ticket is cancelled.

“We will share the feedback with the Centre for Railway Information Systems, which developed the app,” Ojha said.

First Published: Mar 25, 2019 07:02 IST