The Western Railway has decided to install 200 Automatic Ticket Vending Machines (ATVMs) between Churchgate and Virar before Diwali. “We are confident of installing 200 ATVMs at our suburban stations before Diwali,” confirmed Shailendra Kumar, Divisional Railway Manager (Mumbai), Western Railway.
According to WR officials, there were only 80 ATVMs at railway stations in Mumbai before the new installation plan kicked in. However, there has been a steady increase in the number of ATVMs in the city since early this month and so far, at least 118 ATVMs have been installed between Churchgate and Borivli stations.
The ATVMs will allow people to skip queues at railway stations’ ticket counters.
A couple of months ago, authorities attempted to solve the issue of long queues at peak hours by clearly demarcating the waiting point for commuters queued up at the ticket counter with a red line. Thus, the waiting time between standing at the red line and purchasing a ticket at the counter was reduced to five minutes.
But according to sources, a major hiccup is integrating the Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) with the railways’ ticketing system, which is something concerned departments have been asked to work on. As a result, on October 17, WR authorities successfully managed to connect 10 ATVMs to their ticketing system.