Minister of Railways Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu has said that Indian Railways intends to commence sale of tickets through hand held terminals for the benefit of the suburban and short distance travelers. This would enable deployment of multiple ‘Points of Sale’ with minimal infrastructure requirement.
He also said that Indian Railways intends initiating sale of platform tickets through ticket vending machines, which would be made compatible with not only cash, but also credit/debit cards.
Prabhu also announced to open the eTicketing facility to foreign debit/credit cards for foreign tourists and NRIs in the next three months. He also notified eBooking of tickets on the concessional passes for journalists to be introduced.
Prabhu proposed a new process for cancellation of PRS tickets through the 139 helpline post verification, using ‘One Time Password’ sent on registered phone number; bar-coded tickets, scanners and access control to be introduced on a pilot basis on major stations to tackle the menace of ticketless travel and ensure hassle-free travel for passengers.
CCTV coverage at tatkaal counters is being planned to improve services during morning Tatkaal hours. A system of third party periodic audits and certification of security features of the PRS website is being planned.
The ‘Vikalp’ (Alternative Train Accommodation System) scheme introduced in October 2015 will be expanded to provide choice of accommodation in specific trains to wait-listed passengers.
In pursuance of ‘Operation Five Minutes’ which was announced last year, Rail Minister introduced 1,780 Automatic Ticket Vending Machines, Mobile apps and GoIndia smartcard. GoIndia smartcard will enable cashless purchase of UTS and PRS tickets. Mobile apps introduced for purchasing of unreserved and platform tickets. Capacity of eTicketing system has been enhanced from 2,000 tickets per minute to 7,200 tickets per minute and will support 1,20,000 concurrent users as against only 40,000 earlier.