by Elton Gomes
Waiting in long queues to purchase tickets at railway stations might just be a thing of the past. Starting November 1, the Indian Railways will be launching its UTS app, where passengers can buy unreserved tickets online.
“Coming November 1, online booking of unreserved railway tickets will begin across India. With this facility, the passengers need not have stand in long queues at the counter and they can save their time by using the ‘UTS’ mobile app to buy tickets,” Railways Minister Piyush Goyal tweeted on Tuesday.
The government-owned railways has already implemented the scheme in 15 of its zones. The West Central zonal railway and the Northeast Frontier zonal railway are the only two zones where the initiative has to be launched. The UTS app will also be available for passengers wishing to purchase train tickets for long distances.
A senior railways official claimed that the popularity of the UTS app is increasing, and the railways hopes that users can benefit from the app.
The official further said that there were close to 45 lakh registered UTS app users, with around 87,000 tickets were being purchased on the app.
What is the UTS app
The Railways’ UTS app is available for both Android and Windows smart phones. Users can download the app from Google Play Store or Windows store free of cost.
“First the passenger will get registered by providing his/her mobile number, name, city, default booking train type, class, ticket type, number of passenger and frequently travelling routes. Upon successful registration, Railway Wallet (R-Wallet) will be created automatically with zero balance to the passenger. There will be no extra cost for creating R-Wallet,” a statement by the Railways said, PTI reported.
It should be noted that advance ticket booking is not allowed since the app is only for unreserved tickets. “The passenger can travel without taking hard copy of the ticket. Whenever ticket checking staff asks for ticket, the passenger will use ‘Show Ticket’ option in the app,” the statement said, as per the PTI report.
How to book tickets though the app
First, passengers have to download the mobile app ‘UTS on Mobile’ through Google/Windows/Apple app stores.
After that, they have to register by providing their mobile number, nearest station, default booking train type, class, ticket type, number of passengers, and frequently travelled routes.
Thereafter, the mobile application will send an OTP to the mobile number specified against the User ID field to check the validity of the mobile number.
After successful registration, an SMS will be sent informing the user. A zero-balance R-Wallet account will then be activated.
The app services are not available to a person below the age of 17, or anyone who has been suspended or removed from service by the Indian Railways.
Indian Railways has an app for almost every service
In a short span of time, the Indian Railways has launched several apps. The Google Play app store has seen more than 250 mobile applications offering a wide range of railway services. Of these, nearly 50 mobile applications have been developed by the Railways, while the rest have been developed by individuals and private companies.
“Mobile apps are very handy and the preferred mode of transaction and information gathering for the present generation,” a senior railway official told Live Mint on the condition of anonymity.
The official said, “We started experimenting with mobile apps a few years back, coming up with service-specific apps and are now trying to integrate it under an umbrella app called SAARTHI.” He added that the Railways has a substantial number of mobile app users, though he did not give out specific numbers.
Elton Gomes is a staff writer at Qrius
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