Train passengers will also be experiencing check-ins more comparable to those at airports.
Indian Railways has announced its plans to start a contactless QR code tickets system across all its stations. Officials have also stated that passengers will also start to see check-in counters more comparable to those at airports.
Passengers will use an online ticketing system and will receive an SMS with a URL and quick response barcode.
Travelers will make their bookings online. They will automatically receive a confirmation SMS with a URL and a barcode. Once they head to the railway station, the train ticket examiner (TTE) scans the contactless QR code tickets. From there, the passenger’s details are automatically linked across the database of the train station.
“We have introduced a QR code system which will be given on tickets. If one buys online the code will be given on the ticket, even on window tickets, and SMS will be generated and sent on the mobile phone which will have a link and it will show the QR code when the link is touched. Then the TTE at stations or on trains who either with their hand held equipment or on their mobile phones will be able to scan the code and immediately capture details of the passengers,” explained VK Yadav, Railway Board chairperson, when speaking at a recent press conference.
The contactless QR code tickets option will also be provided when bookings are made at the counter.
That said, the vast majority of passengers make their bookings online. In fact, according to Yadav, almost 85 percent of railway tickets were being purchased over online channels, primarily over mobile.
“It is not possible to shift completely to a paper-less ticketing across stations right now as there are still some passengers who do not use smartphones,” he pointed out.
Among the 230 special passenger trains now in operation, 42 have an average 75 percent to 100 percent occupancy. That said, around 40 trains are operating under 30 percent occupancy. On the whole, occupancy for the trains is about 75 percent. Yadav added that there have been 6 train cancellations in response to state government requests.
This is not the first time contactless QR code tickets have been used by railways. According to officials, they had already been running a pilot program with the barcodes at a Prayagraj division.