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CR to install digital maps across stations

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To put up 46 digital boards at 18 stations; ad space likely to earn CR around ₹27 lakh a year

Stations on the suburban section of Central Railway (CR) will soon have large digital maps to help people navigate them. As part of the plan, 46 digital boards will be installed at 18 stations of the division.

A senior CR official said the contract will include installation and maintenance of the boards for five years. Each digital board will be 9.45 ft x 6.30 ft, with multiple screens, half of which can be used for advertising. The other half will have a complete map of the station showing access to platforms, foot overbridges, key offices such as the station master’s office, and other passenger amenities such as toilets and ticket windows.

CR stands to potentially earn around ₹27 lakh per year through this initiative. “We will be killing two birds with a stone. The Railways will incur no cost to install and maintain the amenity. A map will garner commuter interest andwill be a prime location for displaying advertisements,” an official said. The stations have not been finalised, but the boards will be installed at major stations such as Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, Dadar, Kurla, Thane and Kalyan.

Non-fare revenue

The boards are the latest initiative of the CR under their efforts to ramp up non-fare revenue (NFR). After the Railways’ plan to issue NFR contracts at a pan-India level failed, the authority to implement schemes under the NFR was given back to divisions in June last year, after which a series of initiatives have been rolled out, which include traditional advertising as well as those such as on-board shopping on long-distance passenger trains.

CR will soon set up ‘self-ticketing zones’, for which the contract was awarded last year under the non-fare revenue bucket. Like the digital boards, the ticketing zones will be set up by the contractor, who will be able to sell advertising space in the zones. “If we had to set up these zones we would have had to spend several lakhs, but instead we will be earning ₹22 lakh per year,” a CR official said.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2020 2:27:22 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/cr-to-install-digital-maps-across-stations/article26515451.ece

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