The financial capital of India, Mumbai, is home to people from different parts of India. People come from all over the country to make a living in Mumbai. This whole environment of daily lives of these people are dependent on none other than the local trains of Mumbai. The public uses the local train daily to commute daily to work and back home. But, these days something different and shocking is happening in Mumbai local trains. There are many commuters who are travelling ticketless daily, and recently the Western Railways have collected fines from these commuters in lakhs. According to a Hindustan Times report, the Western Railways caught 5,274 people travelling without valid tickets in just three days of fortress checking, earning revenue of ₹13.93 lakh in fines. The railway is now planning to conduct surveys and speak to passenger associations to address the issue. We all should know that travelling without a ticket is not just a crime but also a social offense. But why is the public doing this even after knowing that they are committing a crime? The railway stations in Mumbai continuously announce everyday that travelling ticketless is a crime, but still people listen to it and ignore it. Railways have now fined these ticketless travellers and are planning to tackle the issue, but why did it take this long? I live in Mumbai, and use the local trains to commute daily. After listening to all these recent events, I was able to weave where it is going wrong. When a person has to commute through local trains in Mumbai, they have to stand in a long queue to buy a ticket. But, the railway has other options too to buy tickets. The stations are equipped with ticket generating machines, to buy tickets. There is a particular app dedicated for people to buy their ticket. So, the commuters have these three options to get their tickets, yet they choose to travel ticketless. Let us first look at these three options and identify where it goes wrong from the railway’s side. As I said before, there are long queues to buy physical tickets. So, people travel ticketless rather than missing their trains. But, they can obviously use the ticket generating machines? But, let me tell you there are occasions when these machines are either out of service or the transaction takes time. The last option is the booking application. This application too has problems with it. One of them is, the “Show Ticket” option of this app from where you can show a ticket to the TC. All of sudden, it shows that you do not have a ticket even though the person has a valid ticket. And this has personally happened to me more than once. Another issue with this app is of transactions. When a person makes a payment, the app does not show the ticket. The ticket only appears after a few hours. It’s high time, when the railway has to take Mumbai local train issues seriously. Strict action against ticketless traveler works well, but the railway has to keep this ticket checking in continuity to make sure that people who are doing this learn the social etiquettes of public transport travelling. The public too has to understand that you cannot go against the law. If you have rights then you have duties too. The public should atleast have this basic sense of travelling with a ticket after all, local train travel in Mumbai is one of the cheapest modes of transport which you can use to travel to any part of the city.
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