Delhi Metro Commuters Not Happy With Inadequate Staff at Ticket Counters
Automated Ticket Vending Machines Not Enough for Crowd
Delhi Metro Commuters these days are found to be unhappier than before. The reason is the installation of automated ticket vending machines and decreasing focus on ticket selling at counters. Delhi Metro has two reasons behind this development – cutting the manpower cost and better crowd management. However, this initiative has turned to be counterproductive and is deteriorating the crowd situations at some Delhi’s Metro Stations.
Of the ticket vending machines installed at each station, many are not functioning properly due to some technical reasons or the other. As a result of this, commuters are waiting for a longtime to get their tickets. Again, as Delhi Metro has not deployed any person around the vending machines, many needy people are not getting help to get their tickets. There is no Metro workforce to check unruly persons who do not follow the sequence of the queue due to which many innocent Delhi Metro commuters are suffering.
Samarendra Dash, a regular Delhi Metro commuter, shared: “While coming from Dwarka Sector 9 to Hauz Khas Metro station, I found no Metro staff at the ticket counters of Dwarka Sector 9. I came to the automated ticket vending machines – there were 3-4, one was not working. Again, I found there was no organised way to get the tickets, people were not following any queue sequence, old people were not comfortable, no Metro workforce to help people. I could help some people only after lashing out on some Metro officials. The Metro officials also shared with me their helplessness due to the unavailability of sufficient workforce.”
Many Delhi Metro Commuters are of the opinion that keeping in mind the awareness disparity and quantum of crowds, Delhi Metro can’t just rely on automated ticket vending machines. Keeping a well-mix of automated vending machines and ticket counter executives would be a better proposition for a city like Delhi. Salma Sheikh (name changed), a PR professional who travels from East to South Delhi by Delhi Metro for office, said: “Many Delhi Metro commuters, including people from the rural background, children and senior citizens, are not comfortable with the ticket vending machines. While it is a good initiative by Delhi Metro to install automated ticket vending machines, cutting the number of ticket counters is not a good idea. The existence of both the options is essential.”
Indeed, what works for a European country, may not work here in India, particularly when the population is so vast. Though putting automated machines by Delhi Metro is undoubtedly a good idea, the role of people-to-people coordination should not be discounted. This is as true for Delhi Metro as it is true for any other public dealing platforms in India.