Ministry of Indian Railway launched Paperless Mobile Ticketing apps. In the ongoing efforts to improve access to and availability of unreserved tickets and as part of the ‘Operation Five Minutes ‘initiative of the Honorable Minister of Railways announced in the Railway Budget 2015, Indian Railways has developed a mobile phone application through which suburban tickets can be booked on Smart phones. This application takes away the inconvenience of having to wait in a queue in order to buy the ticket. This would not only save time, but also avoid the usage of paper for tickets. Given the huge popularity of the e-ticketing facility for reserved tickets, it is felt that this paperless mobile ticket facility will be equally popular among Railway users.
In Phase-I, the ‘UTS on Mobile ‘application was introduced in Chennai and Mumbai for suburban journey tickets earlier this year. In this a smart phone user downloads this app from Google Play Store and charges his Railway-wallet (R-wallet) either from a booking office or through the internet using the IRCTC payment gateway. once this is done, he can book his ticket. Thereafter he goes to the ATVM at the journey starting station and prints out his paper ticket. A total of 17 stations on the Chennai Beach to Arakkonam and the Chennai Beach to Gummidipoondi have been enabled as journey starting stations where the ATVMs can be used for printing these tickets.
In Phase-II, which is being launched on the Chennai Egmore – Tambaram section alone, the need to go to an ATVM to print the ticket has been done away with at the stations between Chennai Egmore and Tambaram. Instead the passengers will carry the ticket on the mobile as an image. Using the same mobile app as in Phase – I, the passengers can now book their ticket and carry it on their phone. The existing method of booking a ticket and taking a print out of it from an ATVM will no longer be available.
As this is a GPS based application, using geo fencing to demarcate physical territory, a passenger CANNOT book a ticket using this application if he/she is inside a station or on a train on this route. The application works 15 metres away from either side of the tracks and within a radius of 5 km from the stations on the sector.
The ticket once booked cannot be forwarded or a screen shot taken of it. It also cannot be edited. Currently the application can be downloaded on Android and window phones only.
Phase-II of the mobile ticketing application involving paperless tickets will become operational only on the Chennai Egmore – Tambaram section as a pilot project after its launch by the Minister of Railways.