The Mysuru Division of South Western Railways has begun issuing season tickets for train commuters which was suspended following the outbreak of COVID-19 in March 2020.
In the pre-pandemic times, nearly 7,000 season tickets used to be issued from Mysuru alone facilitating daily commuters to travel from the city towards Bengaluru, Hassan-Arsikere and Chamarajanagar sections.
Season ticket holders were eligible to travel on a daily basis upto a distance of 150 km in one direction and hence it came in handy for thousands of workers from Mysuru and Chamarajanagar districts to commute on a regular basis.
But once the trains went off track due to the pandemic and only select services began to be unrolled, the authorities had put the issuance of season ticket on hold. Now with the graded unlocking and restoration of most of the services, the authorities have begun issuing season tickets again.
The railway authorities in Mysuru said that season ticket travel has become valid again with effect from August 3 and the daily travellers can make use of it. Official said season ticket holders will be permitted to travel only by unreserved trains and unreserved coaches duly following and adhering to standard social distancing guidelines and hygiene protocols onboard trains and on Railway premises.
There are at present six pairs of unreserved trains operating between Mysuru and Bengaluru at convenient timings. Chamundi Express, which was among the most patroniszed service by the season ticket holders in the pre-pandemic period, continued to operate as a MEMU service and is a fully unreserved train.
The Rajya Rani Express to has been converted into a MEMU service and hence the season ticket holders are eligible to travel. In addition, there are three pairs of unreserved trains on the Mysuru-Arsikere section and one pair of trains between Mysuru and Chamarajanagar. In the pre-pandemic times, 51 pairs of trains, including reserved and non-reserved, were operating from Mysuru. So far, the services of 30 pairs of trains have been restored.
The authorities said season tickets are now being issued across South Western Railways consequent to the easing of lockdown regulations in the State.
Suspension of train services to comply with the lockdown restrictions has resulted in season ticket holders losing a number of days despite holding a valid season ticket issued prior to March 23, 2020. It has now been decided to extend the validity of such season ticket to the extent of days lost and will be enabled from August 9 onwards across UTS counters.