JTBS scheme a hit on CR

JAN Sadharan Ticket Booking Sewa (JTBS), the Railways’ outsourcing scheme, has shown substantial growth over the past year, with its share in total ticketing rising from one per cent in January 2012 to 11 per cent in January 2013 on Central Railway (CR). On Western Railway (WR), the scheme has been poorly received. While there are 141 JTBS centres on CR, there are are only four on WR in Mumbai division.

Though commuters have to pay a rupee extra while purchasing tickets from JTBS centres, many prefer this over long queues at ticket booking offices.

Mukesh Nigam, divisional railway manager, CR said, “JTBS counters in Thane, Mumbra, Kurla and Govandi sometimes sell over 10,000 tickets a day.”

Mukhtar Malim Kasam, a JTBS operator at Mumbra, said, “On weekends, 5,000-6,000 tickets are sold. On a regular day, we sell up to 3,000 tickets.” A ticket booking window sells a maximum of 3,000 tickets per day on both CR and WR.

Earlier, JTBS policy did not allow additional counters. Other rules related location of JTBS shops too are stringent. A policy review in 2010 popularised the scheme, said a senior railway official who did not wish to be named. The official said the share of JTBS was now equal to Automatic Ticket Vending Machines (ATVMs) that contribute 11 per cent to ticketing.

On why WR was not promoting JTBS, Sharat Chandrayan, chief public relations officer, WR, said, “We have many booking counters to take care of queues. Also, ATVMs and CVMs together contribute 30 per cent to overall ticketing on WR.”