In June, ATVMs contributed to 30 per cent sales of tickets, which has fallen to 18 per cent in July. There are a total of 144 retired railway employees who continue to sell tickets as facilitators
Unable to find any takers among retired government employees for selling tickets through Automatic Ticket Vending Machines (ATVM), the Central Railway (CR) has involved apprentices to act as facilitators. Around 100 apprentices, who recently joined the railways to train in different departments, have been given cards to sell tickets through ATVMs.
“There was hardly any response from the ex-servicemen. However, to fill up the gap created, we have involved apprentices,” said Narendra Patil, Chief Public Relations Officer, CR. Due to a rapid decline in sale of tickets, on July 1, CR invited applications from retired government employees of other services to become facilitators.
The attempts to revive the sale of tickets through facilitators are being made due to a rapid decline in contribution of ATVMs to overall ticketing. In June, ATVMs contributed to 30 per cent sales of tickets, which has fallen to 18 per cent in July.
Following a change in rules by the Railway Board in June this year, CR disallowed 604 of its 704 facilitators from selling tickets to non- smart card users, resulting in a sharp decline in the sale of tickets through ATVMs. Earlier, railway staff, in their non-duty hours, were allowed to sell tickets as facilitators. They contributed to over 80 per cent sales of tickets through ATVMs.
However, after the change in rules only retired railway staff were allowed to sell tickets. There are a total of 144 retired railway employees who continue to sell tickets as facilitators.
The shift of commuters from ATVMs has been noted at Unreserved Ticketing System (UTS) or booking windows, which contributed to 63 per cent to ticketing last month, while the Jansadharan Ticket Booking Sevaks (JTBS) contributed 14 per cent to ticketing. The sale of tickets through coupon booklets stood at five per cent last month