Due to glitches in ATVMs, people queue up at ticket windowsDue to glitches in ATVMs, people queue up at ticket windows

It is well known that there are constant technical glitches with Automatic Ticket Vending Machines (ATVMs) and Cash/Coin Ticket Vending Machines (CoTVMs). While mobile ticketing hasn't gained popularity among Mumbaikars using local trains, it has once again led to their dependency on ticket windows, and is causing serpentine queues.

Technical glitches with ATVMs and CoTVMs are a constant in the local railway network in Mumbai. Perhaps that’s the reason there has been a rise in dependency on every day card tickets at 26 of the total 37 stations on Western Railway’s (WR) suburban section. According to data accessed by mid-day, there has been a decline in purchase of card tickets at 11 stations, which include Churchgate, Marine Lines, Charni Road, Grant Road, Mumbai Central and Mahalaxmi and a few others between Virar to Dahanu.

Speaking to mid-day, a WR official says, "The stations where there has been a marked decline in card ticket usage are actually business hubs. These stations attract the maximum workforce from areas further north, so the commuters prefer buying season passes instead of purchasing card tickets on a daily basis. Season passes also ensure better utilisation of time during peak office hours."

Incidentally, there has been a measly rise in the purchase of season passes. "While the number of commuters using season passes stands at 57,400, there has been an increase of a meager 329 passes," the WR official said.

The rise in sale of card tickets, however, indicates that few commuters opt for mobile ticketing option.

"There has been a marginal growth in the number of commuters purchasing tickets using ATVMs, despite a 5 per cent discount offered. But the number of passengers using the mobile ticketing facility stands in double decimals and we are struggling to increase its popularity," said the WR official.

As per the data, barely 16-17 per cent commuters use ATVMs, while mobile ticketing contributes barely 0.05 per cent or lesser.