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As demand goes up, ticketless travel increases in AC locals

Mumbai News :  Although air-conditioned (AC) local trains are gaining popularity in the city, the number of passengers travelling without tickets has also increased Thane, India – February 3, 2020: The high ticket charges and ticket checkers in every coach of the Air conditioned local services from Thane sees negative response. As the compartments of this local were seen running empty from Thane station, during morning peak hours on Monday, India, Monday, February 3, 2020.

Mumbai Although air-conditioned (AC) local trains are gaining popularity in the city, the number of passengers travelling without tickets has also increased.

From the last week of May, both Central and Western Railway added extra AC train services on both lines. However, the popularity of the AC trains is such that around 10,133 ticketless travellers have been penalised in both the lines in the last two months of June and July itself.

Of the total passengers penalised, CR penalised 4,906 passengers in June and July, while WR penalised 5,227 passengers in the same period.

Officials highlighted how these figures are higher than those recorded in peak summers. In the month of May, 3,080 travellers were penalised for ticketless travelling in both CR and WR. Central Railway in the first 10 days of August itself has penalised 864 ticketless travellers.

In two months, the railways have earned 32,98,819 through fines from those travelling in AC local trains. A ticket checker on condition of anonymity said, “There are many first-class pass users who often travel in the AC locals and end up paying the penalty on being caught. Often we have noted families also travelling in the AC local, some of whom are not aware that the tickets are different.”

WR introduced eight new AC local services recently taking the total to 48 services from August 8 this year. Sumit Thakur, CPRO, Western Railway, said, “We conduct surprise drives by ticket checkers in these AC locals and also continuously make announcements on railway platforms to ensure that only bonafide passengers board the local.”

Overall, WR has collected 77 crore in the first four months of the current financial year from 11.19 lakh cases of ticketless travel.

Meanwhile, CR introduced 10 new AC local services taking the total to 66 services from Thursday. Shivaji Sutar, CPRO, Central Railway, said, “We continue to conduct intensive ticket checking drives in all trains. Last year, Central Railway had detected 35.36 lakh ticketless and irregular travellers and collected a penalty of 214.14 crore—the highest among all zonal railways.” In 2022-23, Central Railway has detected 18.37 lakh cases, and levied a penalty of 126.18 crore.

One lakh passengers on WR

Western Railway, on Tuesday, crossed the milestone of over one lakh passengers using AC locals on a single day. In the month of August, there has been a gradual increase in the number of passengers opting for AC suburban locals, especially during the peak hours. Tuesday’s figure of 1.06 lakh passengers is 19% more than 89,891 daily passengers recorded on August 8 and 25% higher than the figure of 85,231 daily passengers recorded on July 4.

The total passengers travelling by AC locals in the months of April, May, June and July 2022 were 6.61 lakh, 11.18 lakh, 13.44 lakh and 14.51 lakh respectively while in the current month of August, 8.40 lakh passengers have travelled till Tuesday.

Sumit Thakur, CPRO, Western Railway, said, “This is a noteworthy achievement and WR is taking all possible efforts to introduce more AC local services for the commuters. Peak hour services are running to full capacity and we are noticing that more commuters are preferring AC locals.”

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)


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