Skip the queue with Western Railway’s ticket kiosks

Western Railway (WR) commuters won’t need to stand in long queues at Churchgate station to buy tickets or renew their passes. WR on Friday installed two Automatic Ticketing Kiosks (ATKs) that allow commuters to buy tickets, recharge smart cards and renew season tickets in a matter of seconds. The machines, however, require commuters to tender exact fare, including currency notes and coins.

The machines have been installed on a pilot basis and will be installed at other WR stations if they are a hit with commuters. WR officials said they will observe the machines’ performance for a month.

These user-operated machines have been approved by the Centre for Railway Information, an information and technology arm of the Indian Railways. Till Friday evening, around 90 commuters had used the ATKs. A senior WR official said, “The ATKs will accept currency notes from Rs 5-500. We have requested commuters not to use the new Re 1 coin and the Rs 2 coin. The software has been designed in such a way that it will discard currency notes that are old, fake, wet, moist or mutilated.”

WR has deployed personnel with technical expertise at the kiosks. “They will guide commuters and give them step-by-step instructions on how to use the machines,” said the WR official. “There is a time out of 60 second. Each transaction must be completed within this time.”

Commuters have welcomed the move. Virar resident Vivek Pandya said, “It is good initiative but the exact fare condition can turn out to be drawback.”

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