Mumbai: Local train commuters can swipe their card for railway tickets in early 2019
Demo tests for the vending machines using debit/credit cards declared a success; service to be available as early as March 2019
No cash in your wallet and you desperately need a local train ticket? You can soon whip out your debit or credit card and swipe it at the nearest Automatic Ticket Vending Machine (ATVM). The IT arm of the Indian Railways has moved one step closer to giving commuters their first credit/debit card-enabled ticket machines. The tests and trials of the first such machine have just been completed.
mid-day had reported last month (November 6) that the Centre for Railway Information Systems, the IT arm of the Indian Railways, had, through the Central Railway, forwarded a proposal to the railway board to modify the existing lot of ATVMs to enable the change. Once the changes are made, it will be applicable for all railways across the country where ATVMs are used.
A senior official associated with the project said they were awaiting a green light from the Indian Railways. Explaining the project, an official said that all these years, the ATVM card machines enabled a transaction between the ticket smart card and railway ticketing servers. With the incorporation of credit/debit cards, the process includes multiple gateway points and related elements.
With credit/debit cards being extremely popular in urban hubs, railway officials feel the machines will definitely be successful in major cities where the use of ticket machines is already popular.
"We are confident of starting this project by March 2019. Bids have been called in for four divisions of Central Railway and the process for Mumbai division is also being finalised. Some of the existing machines will be modified and we will try and cover maximum stations as per demand," chief public relations officer, Sunil Udasi said.
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