Season ticket card holders of Mumbai suburban railway system will have rail card instead of paper tickets or mobile tickets. Railway board officials are in talk with the various banks to work out a system that will allow these cards to be used as season ticket as well as shopping at retail outlets.
Around 70 to 80 per cent of the total passengers are season ticket holder. The official said, “There are plans to offer silver card to (monthly pass holders), gold and platinum card will be offered to half-yearly and yearly season ticket holders.“
A senior official from CR said that they were not aware of the plan that was being worked out at the board level. “We will be able to give the feedback only if something concrete comes up before us,“ he said.
Mumbai railway official said that instead of coming up with the rail card, the board should try to popularize the smart card usage to reduce queue at the booking offices. He said, “We have to look carefully at the Mumbai Metro’s offer for the monthly pass holders. They have tied up with various retail outlets who offer discounts for purchase made from them if they produce these cards.“
Railway has a far wider consumer base, spread across entire Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) and can expect better response if their smart card is linked to such discount scheme. The official further said, “The best option is to work on a concept of integrated ticketing sytem that will allow commuters to use one card for BEST, train, Metro, Mono and cabs.“
Mumbai’s experience with smart card was only partially successful. The Go card smart card was scrapped in 2010, two years after its launch in 2008.
Ajay Rane, a commuter said, “Authorities should focus more on popularizing mobile-ticketing system.“
Hindustan News 30/08/2016: http://epaper.livehindustan.com/