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Railgarion ki Devi, Nanda Devi AC ko pranaam - Sunaina Malhotra

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Blog Entry# 3829038
Posted: Sep 21 2018 (23:43)

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ML/Mumbai Local
Sep 21 2018 (23:43)   Commuters opting for mobile tickets up 5-fold

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Entry# 3829038   News Entry# 359611         Tags   Past Edits
MUMBAI: Train commuters are going digital. More and more are choosing not to wait in serpentine queues, instead buying tickets on the railways online app, UTS.
This behaviour is now reflecting in ticket sales. The number of railway tickets being booked via UTS has gone up five times over the past one year, while the number of passengers has risen by 350%. Earnings have increased four-fold, according to statistics released by Central Railway on Thursday.
A whopping 20 lakh more tickets were booked on the mobile phone in the last five months
alone as compared to the same period last year, the figures show. The number of tickets booked per month rose from 1.6 lakh in August 2017 to 8 lakh in August this year. Corresponding figures for other months indicate that sales went up about four times while the number of passengers rose from 10 lakh a month to more than 46 lakh a month lately. Revenue from mobile ticket booking comprises 2% to 4% of the total ticket sales revenue for local trains.
Officials said that the figures indicate that many commuters prefer to go paperless while travelling by local trains.
“The purpose of mobile ticketing is that nobody should come to the station to book tickets, but should just come and board the train direcntly,” said Central Railway’s general manager D K Sharma. “The new system will decongest stations and save commuters’ time.” He said that the railways encourage online booking of tickets for suburban and longdistance trains.
Statistics available with TOI show that, on a daily average, 18,000 commuters book tickets on their phones. On a particular day, the number of bookings rose to 30,000 on the suburban corridor.
The charts further showed that earning through sale of mobile tickets in April 2017 was Rs 65 lakh and it rose to Rs 76 lakh in June 2017 before touching Rs 1 crore by August end last year. This year, the earnings shot up to Rs 2.5 crore in June and it has touched almost Rs 4 crore in August, adding more revenue through mobile ticket sales.
General manager of Centre for Railway Information System, Uday Bobhate, said, “Commuters are gradually switching to paperless tickets on the suburban section and this is a good trend. In fact, we have offline service for display of tickets so that you do not require internet connection to flash the ticket to a ticket checker. This feature has attracted more citizens towards downloading the UTS app.” Recently, the railways announced that it will incorporate booking of tickets for non-suburban section as well.
“We want those travelling up to Surat on Western Railway and up to Nagpur on Central Railway and up to Roha on the Konkan Railway to use the app for paperless tickets. All you need to do is flash the ticket on the mobile phone,” he said.
According to Central Railway’s chief spokesperson, Sunil Udasi, there has been an aggressive campaign at most railway stations since December last to reach out to every commuter standing at the booking counter. “We encourage the person to download the app to book tickets. Our staffers are available at a special booth where they provide technical assistance to those wanting to download the app on their cellphones. One can also get the app wallet recharged easily and use the money to purchase tickets,” he said. One such kiosk has been set up at the CSMT suburban section, close to the ticket booking office.

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