In a bid to cut down the long winding queues of commuters in front of railway booking counters, the Central Railway plans to ask the railway ministry to provide passes to students on a quarterly or half-yearly basis. Currently, the 7.29-lakh strong student population in Mumbai travel on a Monthly Season Ticket (MST).
Apart from the ATVM machines and other facilities that are provided for the benefit of commuters, the monthly pass system has yielded good results. According to CR officials, they have been planning to issue quarterly or half yearly pass to students for a long time and have even conducted feasibility survey for the same.
Atul Rane, Chief, PRO, CR, said, “Rules permit students concessions only on MST and not on Quarterly Season tickets (QSTs). However, considering the reduction in queue length, suggestions will be examined and processed through proper channel.”
Earlier, this facility was available to male students up to Std X and till Std XII for female students.
However, in 2008, then Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav modified the provision allowing male students to acquire a pass till Std XII and the limit was raised up to graduation for female students.
“Out of the 40 lakh passengers who commute by CR, if 7.20 lakh passengers don’t have to stand in queue every month, there will be a huge relaxation for the passengers who have to stand in queue to buy tickets. However, we are still in the initial state of planning and hope to get it done,” said a senior CR official.
Starting this year, the railways have allowed regular commuters to select passes for six months or on a yearly basis. However, this facility didn’t see much success as passengers were worried about losing their pass and in the process losing their money as duplicate passes are not issued.
Besides this, senior women citizens will be allowed to avail 50 per cent concession for a second-class pass. Param Vir Chakra, Mahavir Chakra and Veer Chakra awardees are entitled to card passes for travelling in AC III tier along with one companion on all trains. Earlier, Ashok Chakra awardees of the Indian Arms Forces were not allowed to travel on Rajdhani and Shatabdi by using the pass, but that will change too during this year’s budget.
No of passengers that travel by Central Railway daily
No of commuters who buy tickets every day
No of season ticket holders on the Central Railway