The Asian Age

Plan for hi- tech rail tick­et­ing soon

- MAN­ISH ANAND

The In­dian Rail­ways plans to in­tro­duce high- tech au­to­matic ticket check­ing and fare col­lec­tion sys­tems across its vast net­work. This am­bi­tious move aims to repli­cate Metro- style ticket- check­ing in rail­way sta­tions.

The mod­erni­sa­tion pro­posal, a copy of which is with this news­pa­per, also sug­gests trans­form­ing au­to­matic ticket vend­ing ma­chines ( now used only for plat­form tick­ets) for both long- dis­tance and short jour­neys. Recharge­able smart cards are planned for this pur­pose. The rail­ways are con­sid­er­ing do­ing away with the cur­rent prac­tice of et­ick­ets on mo­bile phones or tablets. In­stead, com­muters will need a printout of tick­ets with bar­codes, or “QR- coded tick­ets”, avail­able from vend- ing ma­chines or ticket coun­ters at sta­tions. The pre- ten­der process has been ini­ti­ated to in­vite bids to trans­form the tick­et­ing in­fra­struc­ture.

Though au­to­matic ticket vend­ing ma­chines have been in­tro­duced in a limited way, the rail­ways now do not have any au­to­matic ticket check­ing mech­a­nism. There are plans to in­stal au­to­matic gates fit­ted with req­ui­site val­ida­tors as a ticket check­ing mech­a­nism. “The same ar­range­ment may be utilised later for au­to­matic fare col­lec­tion,” an in­ter­nal note of the rail­ways states. The Cen­tre for Rail­way In­for­ma­tion Sys­tems will fi­nalise the method­ol­ogy and tech­ni­cal spec­i­fi­ca­tions on the re­sponse of ex­pres­sions of in­ter­est, and may process it fur­ther based on in­ter­nal as­sess­ments as well as rail­way re­quire­ments, the note adds.

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