CHENNAI: Southern Railway is launching BAAT – Book Activate And Travel – mode of paperless mobile tickets for Chennai Suburban commuters today i.e. 7th April 2018. Southern Railway had launched a mobile APP for booking of unreserved tickets through the mobile phone in 2015. Passengers can download this App in their mobile from Google Play store and book their unreserved tickets using R wallet, which is an e-payment mode of Railways with no service charges. Using this App, passengers can buy two types of tickets viz., paper ticket and paper-less ticket. Today about 3 % of suburban tickets are booked through mobiles, crossing one million in January 2018.
In case of paper ticket, the passenger can book the ticket from the App and can take print out of the ticket from the ATVM machines, as well as UTS counters at stations. This facility is now available to buy season tickets and non suburban journey tickets also.
Booking paperless tickets on mobiles, normally requires GPS and Internet connection in the phone. Once the passenger books the ticket in paperless option, the image of the ticket is downloaded to the phone. The passenger can show the ticket image on the mobile phone and travel. However, for booking paper less ticket, the passenger has to be at least 25 metres away from the railway track and station platforms but within five kms from the station. This facility is provided through ‘geo fencing’
To overcome the difficulties faced by the passengers due to such geo fencing, a new feature called ‘BAAT’ (Book Activate And Travel) has now been launched as a trial measure at Chennai Central. By this feature, the passenger can book the ticket from anywhere either from office or home, without worrying about the distance restriction. The passenger can come to the station to an area earmarked as ‘BAAT Activation Zone’ and can ‘activate’ the ticket for travel. No internet or GPS is required for activation. Passenger also need not take print out of the ticket.
This facility is being launched at Chennai Central as a trial measure from Saturday, 7/4/2018. BAAT is expected to be another passenger friendly feature being bought out by Southern Railway to benefit over one million passengers every day in Chennai suburban area. Railway hopes to increase the percentage of mobile tickets to over 10 % of the total UTS tickets during the current year.