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In just 3 weeks, footfall and apathy wipes out the 'red line' at Andheri station

Every day, around five lakh people pass through Andheri station, and with more and more commuters flocking to the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro rail route, these numbers are expected to keep rising.

Hardly any passenger waiting for his or her ticket would notice this nearly non-existent line. Despite this setback, such lines will be drawn at other stations soon
Hardly any passenger waiting for his or her ticket would notice this nearly non-existent line (inset). Despite this setback, such lines will be drawn at other stations soon

At the ticket booking counter on the west side of the station, near the new escalator on platform 1, an obscured, speedily fading red line is the only reminder of the fate of one of Western Railways’ recent pilot projects.

The red line, cutting across the white tiled floor, is meant to give waiting commuters an idea of how long it will be before they reach the booking window and get their hands on their ticket.

If one peers hard at the floor, one can still see the nearly obliterated words ‘10 minutes’ written along the line. “A line drawn on the floor of the circulating area at Andheri station indicates the probable time left before a commuter can get tickets,” said Hemant Kumar, General Manager, Western Railway.

Hardly any passenger waiting for his or her ticket would notice this nearly non-existent line, even though it’s just been three weeks since it was painted onto the floor. A Western Railway official said, requesting anonymity: “The line faded because of heavy footfalls at the station.”

Despite this setback, however, authorities plan to add another line a little ahead in a different colour, with the words ‘5 minutes’ written on it. There are also plans to replicate these lines at other major stations like Borivli, Bandra, Dadar and Churchgate.

Quick ticketing
‘Jaldi 5/10’ tickets, another pilot project started by the WR, has been quite a success. Separate windows have been dedicated for the sale of tickets of Rs 5 and Rs 10 denominations.

Kumar explained that during peak hours, around 300 tickets are issued from these ‘Jaldi ticket’ counters, as opposed to 160 tickets from regular windows, with around 65 per cent of the commuters needing tickets of these denominations. These special windows have been opened at Bandra, Andheri and Borivli stations.

The counters selling tickets of Rs 5 denomination are marked red, while those selling Rs 10 tickets are marked yellow.

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