According to them this step will only increase queues at the ticket counter.
Mumbaikars are unhappy with the railway’s proposal to decrease the validity of return tickets to six hours. According to them this step will only increase queues at the ticket counter. Railways may have introduced technology for reducing queues at ticket counters but people continue to use counters for buying tickets as many of them are not tech savvy.
The mobile ticketing scheme and smart cards launched by the railways have received lukewarm response from commuters. Even today one can find large number of persons standing in queue whereas very few commuters are using the ATVM machines.
“The present return ticket rules are passenger friendly as commuters could buy a return ticket which is valid till next day midnight. However, if the rules are revised then commuters will have to undergo severe hardships,” said Mohit Raj, a Kandivali resident.
“Since last two years the railways have been amending several rules thereby causing huge inconvenience to passengers. Nowadays railways are only adopting various measures to earn money but their services remain poor. Of late railways has introduced several anti-passenger policies like amending cancellation of ticket rules, increasing minimum fare of non-suburban section, hiking platform tickets. The new rule will only cause hardships for passengers and benefit railways,” said Sunil Deore, a Borivali resident.
“Railways should first provide passengers friendly measures like introducing more trains, constructing foot overbridges, ramps for disabled persons. Instead of improving amenities railways are revising passenger farers and amending the existing rules,” said Sudesh Doshi a Malad resident.
“I won’t be able to finish my tasks within six hours so how will I benefit from the new rule? The railways must not change the return ticket rules as it will only increase rush at the counters,” said Ashish Shah a businessman from Bandra.
Currently, a commuter who buys a return ticket on a weekday can use the ticket one-way the next day as well. For instance if a commuter has purchased a return ticket on Monday from Borivali to Churchgate he can use this ticket the next day morning on the same route again. The rule was even more relaxed on weekends, for example if a commuter buys a return ticket on Saturday the same ticket can be used on the first journey they undertake on Monday too.
A railway official said, “The return ticket rule was introduced due to shortage of ticket counters earlier. During those times there used to long queues of commuters for buying ticket.”
“However, today due to technological advancement people have other options like using smart cards, mobile tickets, online ticketing for buying a ticket. Therefore we had made a recommendation to the railway minister to amend the rules. The railways can also earn good revenue through this step,” he added.