In an attempt to promote self-ticketing at suburban stations, the Central Railway is coming up with special ticketing zones. In total, 68 such zones will come up at 27 Central Line stations. These will consist of an organised cluster of ATVMs (Automatic Ticket Vending Machines), digital advertisements and UTS (Unreserved Ticketing System) application QR code posters.
“The zones will be a prefabricated modular units with about four-to-ten ATVMs in each depending on the requirement of the station,” said a senior railway official, adding that these will help in organising the stranded ATVMs on the stations as well as conceal the wiring. The tender for the same has been opened and the winning bidder will be responsible for the maintenance of the zone.
The contractor will get the rights of advertisements, which they can further monetise as a source of revenue. The railway authorities are expecting to earn about Rs 1.5 crore each year by renting out the space for these zones for five years. Stations to get these zones include Dadar, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, Kalyan, Thane and Ghatkopar.
Currently, about 5 per cent of the total commuters of Central Railway use the UTS application on a daily basis. Aggressive promotions by the railways have brought up the numbers from less than one per cent a year ago.
Yesterday, about 2.96 lakh commuters used the UTS application to book a ticket. The self-ticketing zones will prominently feature the QR codes required to book tickets.
“Had the railways indulged in creating these zones, it would have a been a major expenditure,” said an official. Outsourcing the work will not only result in non-fare revenue generation but also help the CR in eventually giving a better self-ticketing service to the 45 lakh odd commuters. In the current plan, zones are not planned for Harbour and Trans-Harbour line stations.