Forget the never-ending queues for suburban train tickets. Within a year, you’ll be able to book them on your cellphone.
The Centre For Railway Information System (CRIS), the information technology arm of the Indian Railways, is working on mobile ticketing for Mumbai’s 65 lakh daily suburban commuters. CRIS has already begun field trials for the system and will be ready with the system by March 2009.
“The project will be implemented for suburban and unreserved tickets for outstation trains. There will be no human interaction. Commuters can simply call a number or send an SMS to it for a ticket. The ticket will be sent to the commuter via SMS on his or her cellphone. It will be charged to the cellphone service provider and the amount will be included in the commuter’s phone bill,” said a senior railway official, asking not to be identified. “If you have a high-end Java-enabled phone, you could view the ticket as an image. Otherwise, it will be in the form of a text message.” CRIS General Manager (West) DK Singh confirmed the details to Hindustan Times.
Managers on Mumbai’s rail network have been trying to use information technology in innovative ways to cut the increasing congestion at suburban booking counters.