Mumbai: WR to beautify ticket windows to curb ticketless travel

19 February,2024 06:55 AM IST |  Mumbai  |  Prasun Choudhari

Passengers say it’s a waste, call for more local trains and better services

Commuters wait in long queues to buy tickets at Andheri station. File pic

Key Highlights

In a bid to enhance the overall experience for passengers, Western Railway (WR) authorities have announced plans to make aesthetic improvements at ticket windows across the WR network. The initiative aims to make ticketing areas more visually appealing and welcoming to increase ticket sales. However, the move has faced opposition from rail passenger associations who argue that the focus should be on upgrading facilities and improving existing infrastructure rather than investing in cosmetic enhancements.

Neeraj Varma, divisional railway manager (DRM), WR, said, "WR is making sure that more and more people buy tickets while travelling. This is under WR's ‘mera ticket mera imaan' (my ticket my pride) initiative. Seeing the ticket sales this year, which are 7 per cent higher than last year, the Railway Board increased our target to 12 per cent. We are positive that this initiative will help encourage people to buy tickets."

Meanwhile, a commuter told mid-day that there is no point in improving the aesthetics of ticket windows as it will be a waste of taxpayers' money. "What is more important is developing existing infrastructure. "If someone decides not to buy a ticket, he/she will never buy one even if the ticket window looks beautiful. Instead, what is required is improving the frequency of local trains and other services," he said, adding that self-ticketing zones are often out of service and it be more beneficial if these are maintained rather than beautifying ticket windows.

According to Subhash Gupta of Rail Yatri Sangh, the railways always spend funds on unwanted things. "The fact that the taxpayers' funds are never utilised for actual development is frustrating. Every once in a while, the existing stations on the Western Line should be inspected and it should be ensured that passengers are not facing any issues. This is better than beautifying the ticket windows," he told mid-day.

Gupta asserted that this decision is unfair. "We are never against development, but development should be in a good way. Not in a way where funds are being wasted. The railways never consider passenger safety."

Fortress ticket checking

WR DRM Neeraj Verma said an immediate impact was seen after ‘fortress ticket checking' was conducted. A fortress check is one wherein mass ticket checking is conducted. "Ticket sales at these stations increased by 20-30 per cent in the next few days," he said.

"Exciting news! Mid-day is now on WhatsApp Channels Subscribe today by clicking the link and stay updated with the latest news!" Click here!
western railway mumbai mumbai news maharashtra news
Related Stories