Mumbai, August 20: The Indian Railways is planning to have an access control system that is similar to Metro network to prevent ticketless travellers in the Mumbai trains. The plan of having metro type entry-exit doors for Mumbai trains came up when the World Bank officials recently met railway officials. To implement the plan, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) appointed Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) as consultants to design an integrated ticketing system. This ticketing system will have a common smart card for all modes of transport in the city.

“The consultants will carry out study of 12 stations, selected on the basis of high, medium and low footfalls during peak hours. The access control concept is challenging but can be implemented here”, one of the Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation (MRVC) officials told the Times of India.

The MRVC official said, “There are Metro systems (for example, Tokyo), which are more congested than Mumbai’s Metro. Hence, it is possible to implement it here too. We have AFC gates which are slimmer than the ones in the Metro system. They can ensure dispersal of 60 passengers per minute.”

Another official stated that “During peak hours, commuters get upset if there are impediments while entering or exiting the platform. If the crowd gets angry, they can uproot the system.” However, an MRVC officer talked about the benefits of having the access control system. He said, “The benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. Apart from weeding out ticketless travellers, we will get rich data of commuters as well as the travel pattern, which will allow us to deploy our resources to the fullest benefit. We can also tweak the timetable on the basis of data on travel patterns.”

With the current system of Mumbai trains, a ticketless person is caught in the Mumbai suburban system only when a ticket-checker asks for the ticket. The ticket-checking at Mumbai railway stations is random and now always round-the -clock.