Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Now, just SMS to get a railway platform ticket

Now, just SMS to get a railway platform ticket
The Times of India

Bangalore: Pltfrm tkt — 2. The next time you have to see someone off at the City railway station, all you have to do is send an SMS to 3939 and receive a code on your mobile phone. Type that into the vending machine at the station and the amount of Rs 4 for a ticket will be billed to your phone account.
This will be the new techsavvy method to procure the humble platform ticket from next month, Mahesh Mangal, divisional railway manager, South Western Railway, Bangalore, said on Monday. He inaugurated two advanced electronic ticket-vending machines at the City railway station.
“In another three months, ticket counters in the station will be shifted outside the building to increase the waiting area for passengers,” he outlined.
Shelters will be provided for ticket counters and congestion in the existing waiting area will ease.
The two new vending machines are situated outside the main entrance building. Procured at a cost of about Rs 2 lakh, these are technologically more advanced than the existing vending machines.
Visitors to the station can drop in coins of the following denominations — 50 paise, Re 1, Rs 2 and Rs 5. But if you drop in extra coins, the machine is not geared at returning any change. And you cannot get more than three tickets at one go.
The data of how many tickets and what time the vending machines issued these will be transmitted to a centralised system, which will provide monthly records. Four more machines will be put up at other entrances of the station in the coming months, Mangal said.
Railway officials are also working towards a smart card system, wherein the visitor does not have to buy tickets repeatedly and can visit the station as many times until the value expires.
New parking facility
From December 20, car parking will undergo a sea-change at the City railway station. Four new machines will be installed in the parking area, wherein the visitor can enter his car number and estimated duration of his visit. Based on that, he can drop coins at the machine and pick up not just his parking slip, but his platform ticket as well. “The dual purpose machine will save time for visitors,” Mangal said. The new parking area will have a capacity of over 200 cars.


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