Railway stations run low on tickets

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With a significant increase in train commuters and an increase in train ticket dispensing, many railway stations are running out of tickets, and Station Masters are warning of an acute ticket shortage.

The railway administration, according to General Secretary of the Sri Lanka Station Masters’ Union (SLSMU), Kasun Chamara, is showing less interest in this regard, and even the Government Printer has stopped printing, and the printing equipment has now been brought to the printing office at the Railway Headquarters.

“Its activities have slowed as a result of the failure to assign trained employees as well as sufficient employees for office work. The department’s attention has been drawn to this matter, and if immediate action is not taken, a problem may arise due to the exhaustion of regular tickets for issuance at railway stations such as Fort, Maradana, Gampaha, Veyangoda, and Ragama,” he explained.

In addition, he said passengers are encouraged to obtain season tickets as soon as possible if they intend to use the train on a daily basis or to obtain the same round-trip tickets from the railway station where the journey begins.

“The paper on which ordinary tickets are printed is imported, and the Railway Department will have to bear a large cost for it in the future, however, if the system of re-using used tickets is reinstated, there is a possibility of reducing the cost to some extent. We also call on the relevant authorities to expedite the implementation of the electronic ticketing system, which is scheduled to go live in 2023,” he said.

SLSMU said in a letter to the Railway Administration that they will bring together the relevant officials from both parties to discuss this matter and that a quick solution and discussion will be reached this week. “If not, we regret to inform you that, in the event of passenger protests, we will withdraw from ticket-issuing activities at the respective railway stations,” he added.

By Thameenah Razeek