Commuter convenience takes a back seat as Western Railway demands change in season pass rule

TrainsThe new rule is likely to be removed in a day or two. (AP)

With ten passenger complaints each since Saturday, Western Railway (WR) has written to the Railway Board asking it to withdraw a recent rule on season passes that takes away the convenience of commuters to purchase extension tickets from any station and restrict them to do so only from major junctions or originating or destination station.

"WR has asked the Board to revert back to the old system for the convenience of passengers," said Shailendra Kumar, Divisional Railway Manager, WR.

The new rule is likely to be removed in a day or two.

As per the old system, a commuter, travelling between Churchgate and Borivali was allowed to seek an extension from any station between the two stations. However, this is not in line with the practice followed across Indian Railways where an extension of journey can only be sought from the originating or the destination station. While WR implemented the rule, Central Railway has not yet adopted the new system.

"Suburban commuters have a different travelling pattern. While they may hold a pass from Churchgate to Borivali, they may board the train from any station in between. Under the new rule, if a commuter wants to travel beyond Borivali, the person will have to get down at Borivali, purchase a fresh ticket and then go ahead. This is quite inconvenient for commuters," said a senior railway officer.

The rule was implemented after CRIS put in place a new software which puts an end to manual accounting of extension tickets which was done by railways. Under the manual accounting, there was an overlap in the journey traveled on an extension ticket and the one on the pass. Though a better accounting system has been put in place, commuters have been suffering, said WR officers.

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