To tackle the problem of shortage of coins at ticket booking counters, the railway board has allowed public sector banks to install coin vending machines (CVM) at select stations.
A railway official said, “Passengers will be able to exchange currency notes for coins. The board has permitted zonal railways to allow all public sector banks to install CVMs at booking offices. Banks will be given permission on first come first serve basis, but preference will be given to SBI.”
The magnitude of problem, the railway has decided to charge a nominal one time license fee of Rs 1 for allowing the use of space for installation of machine. Even electricity supply will be provided free of cost but banks will have to ensure that requisite amount of coins are available in machines, at all times, he added.
The bank will be able to install machines at location identified by divisions. The official said, “At A-I category stations, a maximum of four CVMS will be allowed while in other category stations only two such machines will be permitted in booking offices.”
This decision has been taken in view of problem of loose change at booking counters.
A WR official said, “It will help overcoming the shortage of coins at the booking office. It will also reduce arguments between booking clerks and the commuter on account of shortage of loose coins at the counters.”
Efforts are under way to deploy coin-operated Automatic Ticket Vending Machine (ATVM) to reduce queues at booking windows on Mumbai suburban railway stations.
As of now, smart card operated ATVM are present on both Central Railway (CR) and Western Railway (WR). However, these machines have not proved as much popular as was anticipated because of being less user friendly when compared with Coupon Validating Machines (CVMs)