The services include—paperless Unreserved Ticketing through mobile phones on suburban stations over Central Railway, Paperless platforms tickets at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Dadar Central, Panvel, Thane and Lokmanya Tilak Terminus, Andheri, Mumbai Central, Borivali, Dadar Western, Dadar Central, Vasai Road, Bandra, New Delhi and Nizamuddin stations on Northern Railway, Western Railway and Central Railway, paperless season tickets on suburban sections of Western Railway, Central Railway and New Delhi-Palwal Section of Northern Railway, currency, Coin-cum-Card operated Automatic Ticket Vending Machines (ATVMs) at various suburban stations on Central Railway, and Western Railway and Train Enquiry Mobile Application (TEMA) on iOS platform.
On the occasion, Chairman Railway Board, AK Mital and other board members, additional member Mohd Jamshed and MD, Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS) Vandana Nanda were present.
While addressing the gathering, Prabhu said, “Moving ahead in the direction of making Digital India, today, I am happy to unveil the system for paperless Unreserved Tickets, paperless Season Tickets and paperless Platform Tickets through mobile phones, in the Mumbai Suburban system of WR and CR and Delhi–Palwal section of Northern Railway”.
Notably, about 50 Currency-cum-coin-cum-card Ticket Vending Machines (CoTVMs) are now functional over various stations.
Besides, a train enquiry mobile app on the iOS (Apple iphone platform) was also unveiled. The app is working well on the Android and Windows-based mobile phones.
Railway officials stated that the paperless Unreserved Ticketing System is indeed a boon for the suburban commuters which helps reduce the time a passenger takes at the station, waiting in queue to buy a ticket. It will enable “Mission 5 minutes” (not more than 5 minutes to buy a ticket) to become a reality. Railways will also benefit from this innovation because it will be able to cope with higher ticket sales with lower investments.
Notably, paperless Ticketing service already exists in some sections of Mumbai Western Railway and Delhi. With the latest launch, it will be available across all of Mumbai’s suburban sections on both Central and Western zonal Railways. This system is based on the “UTS on Mobile” app, which has a “Railway Wallet” feature. A few safeguards have been built-in to prevent misuse of the mobile UTS tickets such as the tickets cannot be forwarded from one phone to another. Second, one cannot buy the ticket after starting one’s journey. A system of distinct daily colour codes, embedded QR codes, and sync feature has been devised for ticket examiners and passengers’ convenience.
Another innovative system being introduced for Mumbai suburban section of Western Railway and Central Railway is the Cash/Smart Card operated Ticket Vending Machine (CoTVM), which is a self-service kiosk for passengers to buy their own unreserved tickets. It has a user-friendly graphical interface that can be used by all the passengers.
Train Enquiry Mobile Application on iOS platform— CRIS—the IT arm of the Indian Railways, has enhanced the train enquiry system by developing mobile apps. Mobile app for Windows 8 and Android were launched earlier and are widely used by rail passengers. Now one more step ahead, mobile app for iOS platform has also been developed and ready for launch. It has now become easier for the rail passengers to track information on expected arrival and departure timings of a particular train and other information.