Net gain for commuters, CST to soon have Wi-Fi

Dec 30, 2013, 07:04 IST | Vedika Chaubey

However, rail authorities plan to make the facility free to use for the first 20 minutes, after which consumers will have to pay a fee

The historic Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) station is looking towards the future. If all goes well, commuters will be able to use Wi-Fi at the iconic structure from 2014. However, there’s a catch: rail authorities are contemplating making the facility free to use for the first 20 minutes, after which it will become chargeable.

Officials have chosen CST station to implement the Wi-Fi system, as it has maximum footfall. File pic

Central Railway (CR)
officials, who had been in talks with a telecom operator for the past few months, have said that the initial idea was to offer free Wi-Fi to citizens on a trial basis, but then they were told that this would be an expensive experiment. So, the telecom operator has suggested that a commuter be charged after 20 minutes of using the servers.

“The company had earlier said that it will be putting up devices that can provide Wi-Fi free for three months, but now it wants to levy charges after 20 minutes of use. We will get 20 per cent of the revenue earned,” said a senior CR official. Railway authorities say CST station has maximum footfall of passengers, and they would prefer implementing the Wi-Fi system here. “Not only does CST see a large number of suburban commuters, but also those taking outstation trains. This would mean that once the idea catches on in a month or so, a sizeable amount of revenue would be generated,” claimed an official. 

According to a recent Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC) survey, CST handles as many as 6.36 lakh local train passengers daily, and additional ones for long-distance trains. Officials are also trying to work out a foolproof system of monetary transaction with telecom companies. For this, they will float a tender, and appoint the firm that can provide best services at reasonable rates to passengers. Atul Rane, chief PRO, CR, said, “The proposal of Wi-Fi is still in process; we are working out the details.” Sources say that if successful, the idea may also be implemented at stations like Thane, Kalyan and Dombivli.

Stay connected
>> Once you enter CST, your phone will receive a pop-up or an alert, telling you about the Wi-Fi
>> The logo of the telecom company would be displayed to market the brand, and other bargains that it would be offering
>> This system would help passengers know the train timetables and any delays in schedule

6.36 lakh
Daily footfall of local train passengers at CST 

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