Rail Budget 2013: 15 measures that will cheer middle-class

From better e-ticketing facilities to free wi-fi on select trains, the railway budget will lead to implementation many passenger friendly measures. Here is a look at some of them:

1) e-ticketing through mobile phones. Project of SMS alerts to passengers providing updates on reservation status.

In his rail budget 2013 speech, Bansal said, “As a follow up to overwhelming response to the Indian Railways website and integrated train inquiry service under 193, a project of SMS alerts to passengers providing updates on reservation status is being rolled out shortly.”

2) Next-Gen e-ticketing system to be rolled out capable of handling 7200 tickets per minute against 2000 now & 1.20 lakh users simultaneously against 40,000 now.

Noting that congestion on the IRCTC website causes inordinate delay in accessing the system for e-ticketing, Bansal announced that by the end of this calendar year railways will put in place a next generation e-ticketing system. “This will bring about a paradigm shift in internet rail ticketing by significantly improving the end user experience with respect to ease of use, response time as well as capacity,” he said.

The system shall be able to support 7200 tickets per minute as against 2000 tickets per minute today, he added. Bansal further went on to say that the system will support 1,20,000 simultaneous users at any point in time against the present capacity of 40,000 users. It will have the capability to easily scale up as demand increases in future. “The system will make use of advance fraud control and security management tools thereby further improving transparency in sale of tickets,” Bansal explained.

3) Internet ticketing from 0030 hours to 2330 hours.

“I plan to roll out a more efficient and people sensitive railway service system. Some of the measures initiated or put are extending availability of the facility of internet booking from 12:30 AM to 11:30 PM, making e-ticketing possible through mobile phones,” Bansal said in his maiden railway budget speech.

4) Providing free Wi-Fi facilities on several trains.

5) Pilot project on select trains to facilitate passengers to contact on board staff through SMS/phone call/e-mail for coach cleanliness and real time feedback.

6) ‘Aadhar’ to be used for various passenger and staff related services. Aadhar can be helpful for Railways in many respect, from booking tickets to tracking pension of rail employees, Bansal said.

7) Enhanced reservation fee abolished.

8) 8-10 more mechanized laundries for quality washing of linen.