The Indian Railways has established a service where rail passengers can purchase Unreserved Tickets using Automatic Ticket Vending Machines (ATVMs) at railway stations in cash/cashless through digital payment option. According to a press release issued by South Central Railway dated 09-08-2021 "Indian Railways, on its path of digitalization, has put one more step forward towards facilitating rail passengers without the need to stand in queue for purchasing Unreserved Tickets through Automatic Ticket Vending Machines (ATVMs). Rail users who possess Smart Cards for purchasing Unreserved Tickets & Platform Tickets can now recharge their Cards through online mechanism by registering on "UTSonmobile" Web Portal."
The statement has also stated that "Earlier, every time the money was exhausted in their smart cards, the passengers had to visit the booking counters for recharging their cards. To facilitate the rail passengers, Indian Railways have now provided online facility for passengers wanting to recharge their smart cards in digital mode. This will not only help the passengers avoid standing in queues at the booking counter, but also avoids crowding of the passengers at the booking counters, particularly during these pandemic times of Covid-19."
Steps to recharge smart cards online
According to the press release, follow the below-listed steps to recharge your card online:
- Register in the website www.utsonmobile.indianrail.gov.in
- Select the option of "Smart Card Recharge" in the menu.
- Payment can be done through all digital mechanisms like Debit Cards, Credit Cards, Internet Banking, UPI, etc.
- After getting the payment confirmation, the system will deduct money and passengers will be prompted to visit ATVM of the concerned Zone within 15 days or expiry of the card, whichever is earlier.
- When a passenger keeps a smart card on reader at ATVM & chooses "Recharge Smart Card" option then ATVM will automatically fetch details of online recharge done & amount will be topped up on ATVM smart card.
- The smart card balance would then be ready for ticketing purpose & can be used on any ATVM of the concerned Zonal Railway.
Automatic Ticket Vending Machines (ATVMs)
According to the official website of Western Railway Zone "The ATVMs are available at all suburban stations and one can purchase First & Second Class single, return & renew season tickets & Platform tickets for adult & child. Smart Card is used to purchase tickets through ATVM. Smart Card can be purchased at booking offices at any suburban stations and recharged as per requirements. Commuters get 3% extra value on every recharge."
Smart Card Cost: Rs.70/- (Rs.50/- refundable deposit & Rs.20/- recharge value)
Benefit: 3% extra value on every recharge.
Types of Tickets issued: I Class & II Class, Single, Return, Platform Tickets, Renew Season Tickets for Adult & Child
Minimum Recharge: Rs.20/-
Maximum Recharge: Rs.9500/-
Smart Card Cancellation Charges: Rs.30/-
Validity: 1 year after last recharge.
According to the statement issued by the South Central Railway zone "The Railway Smart Cards allow the passengers to buy Unreserved tickets and Platform tickets without having the need to stand at the counters. Initially, to get the Smart Cards, passengers only need to submit valid address proof and other required details at the stations. Thereafter, Passengers can recharge the smart card initially with a minimum of Rs 100 for purchase of tickets."