As of today, rail commuters can use a mobile phone app to obtain tickets in the unreserved or general category as the Indian Railways takes forward its initiative for paperless ticketing.
“We have launched a mobile-based paperless unreserved ticketing application,” said a senior Railway Ministry official.
Apart from being a green initiative, the paperless ticketing system would also save time for passengers as it allows them to avoid lining up at the ticket window.
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu introduced the mobile app for paperless unreserved ticketing for commuters in Egmore and Tambram suburban sections in Chennai under Southern Railway zone.
Developed by Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS) “utsonmobile” – the paperless unreserved ticketing feature in mobile application aims to eliminate the need for printing of unreserved tickets.
“It was a budget proposal to provide paperless tickets in unreserved segment and we implemented it today,” Prabhu said after launching the system here.
The app, which is for both Android and Windows mobile-based platforms, can be downloaded from Google Play Store or Windows Store and used by the user.
The application provides necessary on-screen alerts to guide the passenger during the booking process.
An App for Blackberry will be available later.
Here is how you can use the app:
1. As per the plan, a traveller can download the app from the Google App store for Android-based mobile phones.
2. After the download, the user will get a registration ID number for creation of a railway e-wallet.
3. Money for buying tickets will have to be loaded through the e-wallet mobile payment system either online or at a ticket counter at any station.
4. Passengers have the option of topping up the e-wallet at ticket counters or on the IRCTC website using a credit or debit card.
5. Having booked a ticket using the App, a commuter needs not take a print-out of the same and he can show its soft copy on the cellphone to the TTE.
6. Besides booking tickets, season tickets can also be renewed using the app.
7. The passenger has to use the ticket within an hour of booking the ticket as per the policy of suburban sections.
8. The ticket will have distinct colour scheme everyday and it cannot be forwarded to another mobile, they said.
On a pilot basis, the paperless ticketing system in unreserved segment will cover 15 stations in the suburban section of Southern Railway, officials said.
Railways plan to extend the paperless service in suburban section in all metros.
Expressing hope that the system will increase transparency and efficiency, Prabhu asked railway staff to come forward with new innovative ideas to improve passenger service.
He also appreciated the role of CRIS in making the system operational in the shortest possible time and also announced a reward of Rs 4 lakh to the organisation.
More than one crore passenger travel daily in unreserved segment and railways uses 1200 metric ton paper every year for printing unreserved tickets, they added.
With PTI Inputs