Is Indian Railways Ticketing Automation Possible ?

All around the world, we have seen the ticketing systems being automated. With a travel card topped up with cash, it’s all that’s needed to travel around the country. But is that automation possible in our country?

So, where does the problem lie? As of with any problem faced by our country, the problem is the population of the country. The public transport systems need to transport so many people at any instant of time, it’s not possible to implement existing systems into place.

Well, I suppose that these images are sufficient enough to explain the current problem.

The current solution to solve the problem by the railways is to issue a travel card. And that allows a small portion of the travellers to quickly get the tickets from the kiosk ( If it’s operating properly ) and save the time standing in the queue. But that’s not automation! It doesn’t save time! Getting a ticket from the machine takes the same amount of time as standing in the queue and getting the ticket unless the queue is long ! ( Anyway the machine won’t work at times when the queue is long ).

And more over, one of the perks of having these automated systems is to eliminate the number of people travelling without tickets. (At least in my prospective)

The solution to automating these systems lies how those systems do not disrupt the flow of the people. Well, the solution, remove the gates and improve the scanning rate of the systems. The crowd accumulates if one person has to stand in a queue and wait till the card is scanned and the door opens and the systems need to refresh again for the scanning to be done again.

The system needs to be as fast as it could be, like a metal detector! As the person walks through it, it needs to scan the card, check its authenticity and initiate a response. The beep could alert the guards to identify the persons who are travelling without a ticket.

The second problem is to make the process of getting the cards and topping them up much more easier. Apart from frequent travellers, there are travellers who don’t travel often in trains. And they can’t buy cards separately for local trains and top them up regularly. The solution? Well, there can be a travel card that can be used in all modes of transport and each time the card is used the amount gets debited from the bank accounts of the persons linked with that card.

But this solution is not without problems, ways should be identified to make the transactions secure. And prevent fraudulent use of the cards. There can be no PINS for the cards, as such transactions take more time. But certain methods that the transaction is secure such that an individual with some fraudulent scanners could not transfer money.

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