Mumbai is going digital for travel. The contribution of mobile ticketing is increasing by the day as people prefer using the digital mode than standing in queue. Sources said that around 9.45 percent rise is seen in usage of UTS App for purchasing suburban trains tickets. Since the easing of lockdown restrictions more people are returning to local trains; and their choice of buying tickets is shifting to App based e-tickets.
The railway officials are glad to see this shift especially when national common mobility card (NCMC) is in the pipeline which can be used to travel inside suburban local trains, BEST buses, and cabs as well. “Digital ticketing is the future of mass transit. We are noticing that people are moving to mobile ticketing and card ticket which is a good sign,” said a senior railway official.
The app-based ticketing systems are an innovation that will outlast the pandemic and help both the passengers and the Railways in many ways, like paperless transaction and initiating a shift towards a more cashless, digital economy. According to figures on Central Railway, in the month of May, over 80 lakh people travelled using UTS App on which 16 lakh plus tickets were sold by the rail authorities.
In January this year, the CR had sold 6.63 lakh tickets on UTS App that was used by 37.14 lakh commuters. The current daily average of tickets sold on UTS App reflects a daily average of 54635 tickets that is used by over 3 lakh commuters on a daily average. According to railway officials, prior to Covid-19 induced lockdown; in March 2020, a total of 12.79 lakh UTS mobile local train tickets were booked.
The passenger associations claim that rather than charging service charge, the railways should give discounts for booking UTS App. “This will boost confidence among people to go for digital booking of rail tickets using UTS App,” said S Gupta, a daily rail commuter and member of passenger association.
People also feel that the system is working well but needs vast improvement as far as a complaint redressal mechanism is concerned. Recently, UPI payments were also enabled in the app. Since December 2021, it has seen an incremental growth with 5.93 lakh tickets booked through UTS App which was used by 33.90 lakh people to travel.
Post Covid, an increasing number of commuters are opting for digital UTS mobile ticketing system. This has certainly increased the share of digital ticketing and are buying journey tickets and season passes through UTS mobile app. Several drives have been conducted at various stations to educate passengers about the features of the UTS app, the procedure to download it and how to use the same.