Indian Railways Catering & Tourism Corporation (IRCTC),a public sector undertaking of the Ministry of Railways is launching a pilot project of issuing train tickets through feature (non-internet based mobile) phones with effect from 1st July, 2013.
This will enable people using non-internet based mobile phones to easily access Railway ticketing services through SMS/IVRS/USSD. The scheme is user-friendly, secure and also eco-friendly, as no print out is required.
Indian Railways has continuously endeavored to improve the ease and access of ticketing. The e-ticketing initiative of Indian Railways has been one of the most passenger-friendly initiatives of Indian Railways. In order to further expand the reach of ticketing, the Minister of Railways had made a Budget announcement regarding launch of ticketing through mobile phones was announced in the Railway Budget.
The objective was to tap the potential of mobile phone market in India and thereby facilitate the common man, by providing him any-where any-time and hassle free booking option.
The salient features of this new scheme are: Dedicated number on which SMS can be sent; No need of internet at any stage whether booking, payment or cancellation; One has to register the mobile number with IRCTC as well as one’s bank. The bank will provide one time password for payment authorization; Passenger has to type the train number, destination, journey date, class and passenger details like name, age and gender on the SMS box; and Sender will receive transaction ID and then make payment through sending another SMS by typing PAY followed by the transaction ID, MMID as received from the bank and password.
On successful booking of ticket, message will be sent to the user by IRCTC which will suffice as valid authority to travel along with photo ID card in original. Cancellation of tickets can also be done through the cancellation option available. The scheme will run on a pilot basis and will not be available during the 8 am to 12 pm for booking ARP/tatkal/general tickets.