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Bus Reservation System Essay Sample

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Bus Reservation System Essay Sample

ABSTRACT
Indian Railway has set up a public sector company, Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Limited (IRCTC), owned by the Ministry of Railways. This company has been formed to function as an extended arm of the Indian Railways to implement, upgrade and professionalize the rail reservation system besides managing the catering and hospitality services of Indian Railway. IRCTC launched its official website http://www.irctc.co.in on 3rd August, 2002 for the purpose of railway ticket booking through Internet. Since its inception it has emerged as one of the largest online payment Internet site in India with annual growth of more than 300 percent. Touched a daily high of 57000 tickets (turnover of Rs.9 Cr.) and crossed 10 Lakh ticket sales per month during several months this year. Even average ticket sold through IRCTC’s website in a day is more than 40,000.

IRCTC provides tickets to public in the comforts of their home/residence and save them from hassles to visit “Railway Reservation Centers.” The delivery of tickets is made either through the courier or a person can himself take out the print out for traveling. By doing this IRCTC is not only saving time of public but also saving their cost of traveling/parking to these centers. For Railways it is saving on their infrastructure i.e. Buildings, Air-Conditioning, Electricity, Furniture, Staff etc. The spirit behind the project was to avoid the customer going to Passenger Reservation System (PRS) and instead bring PRS to customer.

IRCTC has highest Success Rate of On line Booking and Payment. For the convenience of customers cancellation of ticket is also permitted online with easy refund process. Transactions carried out on the site are secure; since the site is certified and financial data is transferred across the Internet in encrypted mode (128 bit encryption). The ticket can be booked using any VISA/MASTER/ AMEX/Diners Credit Card, Internet Banking account of 27 Banks or 3 Cash Cards. Tatkal Tickets can be booked in 5 days advance (excluding the date of journey) through our site. For supporting the Customer 24×7 telephone/E-mails support has been provided. For the last two years a Loyalty Program called “Scheme for Frequent Travelers (SOFT)” has also been launched. At present huge number of passengers plan their journey through IRCTC. Total number of registered user with IRCTC is more than 40 Lakhs.

Booking facility was extended to Railway agents (RTSA’s) during 2006. Later, this facility was extended to IATA/TAAI/TAFI agents also. Until now more than 10,000 agents are enrolled for this E-ticketing facility and on an average basis they book more than 2 lakhs tickets every month. IRCTC is in the process of setting up of ATM based Internet Tickets Kiosk with various banks for which the integration is almost completed. The steady growth of IRCTC project emphasizes an increasing acceptance of the Internet ticketing system over time.

1. Introduction/Background
The Indian government is using IT to facilitate governance. The last couple of years have seen e-governance drop roots in India. The effective use of IT services in government administration has greatly enhanced existing efficiencies, driven down communication costs, and increased transparency in the functioning of various departments. The Indian Railways is Asia’s largest and the world’s second largest rail network that has adopted e-Governance in right earnest to reap the benefit of IT explosion. Indian Railways entrusted IRCTC with the task of conceptualizing, developing and implementing the Software and the Infrastructure for this project. The issues of flexibility, scalability and provision of totally self help arrangement (as different from the assisted process at the Reservation Counters) had to be permitted to the internet users. Further a variety of online payment mechanisms (like Credit Cards, Internet Banking, Cash Cards etc.) were to be integrated with for convenience of millions of users. IRCTC has also developed and published Web services to enable access to the basic internet service using other media like phones. All this and more has been done by IRCTC since its inception.

Internet ticketing concept was conceived, formulated and implemented by IRCTC within a record time span of less than 9 months.

Internet Ticketing
Internet ticketing operations of IRCTC were launched in August 3, 2002 in collaboration with CRIS, the Center for

Railway
Information Systems. Tickets for Rail journeys in India can be booked including tatkal tickets on the Internet on the web site www.irctc.co.in, by any user after registering at the site
(Registration is Free).

Payments for tickets are made by use of Master/ Visa / Diners Club/ American Express Credit Cards, Citibank Debit Cards and also through Direct Debits to the users’ bank accounts; this is available to users who have their accounts in the 27 banks having Internet Banking facility like ICICI, HDFC, Citibank, IDBI, Bank of Punjab, UTI Bank, State Bank of India, Centurion Bank, Punjab National Bank, ABN Amro, Corporation Bank, Federal Bank, Union Bank of India, Oriental Bank of Commerce, Syndicate Bank, Indian Bank etc. and others which are being integrated shortly. There is also a cash card payment options from ITZ Cash Cards, Icashcard & Done Cash Cards. I-Tickets get delivered to the users’ homes / offices or any other address of their choice in over 220 cities of India within 48 / 72 hours. The service charges per Iticket are very nominal i.e. Rs 40 per ticket (Not per head) for Sleeper Class Tickets and Rs. 60 per ticket (Not per head) for AC Class / First Class Tickets.

From daily average sales of about 112 tickets in August 2002, the site today books more than 40,000 tickets daily. Though handling only a very small percentage of the tickets booked by the Indian Railways Passenger Reservation System, which book about 7 lakhs tickets daily, this website has today over 35 million registered users.

Besides delivery of the tickets, IRCTC also makes several value additions such as 24-hour helpline to assist customers, on line answering of e-mail round the clock, facilities for time table enquiries on train timings and other particulars, email alerts to Customers regarding the status of confirmation of their accommodations and an Online Consignment Tracking System to know the status of delivery of their tickets at any time. The I-ticket can be cancelled at any Computerized Reservation Counter across the country by submitting cancellation requisition along with the ticket. No cash is paid to the Customer at the time of cancellation. The amount is credited back to the Credit Card Account / Bank Account of the User. Other facilities like change of name, change of boarding point etc are also available only across counters.

Reservation timings are from 0500 hrs to 2330 hrs from Monday to Sunday. Customers should ensure that, depending on the place of delivery required by them, they allow a minimum of 2 / 3 clear days (excluding the date of journey and date of booking) before the date of journey to ensure hassle free delivery of the ticket, as mentioned in the above Table.

e-Ticketing
On 12th August 2005 we have launched the e-Ticketing services. This scheme was initially introduced in only two Shahabad’s. Now from 01.01.06 onwards, it covered all Rajdhani, Shatabdi, Jan Shatabdi and Super-fast trains & on 24-02-2006, e-ticketing services were launched to all trains. The user need not have to have a physical ticket with him; he can take print out the Electronic Reservation Slip (ERS) in the specified Performa and travel. While traveling, the user has to carry the ERS along with the relevant Government issued Photo Identity Card, which together constitute the travel authority. To avail this service, the user can log on to www.irctc.co.in and book his ticket on the Internet just like any normal booking, and selecting ‘e-Ticket’ in the Plan My Travel page. The user has to give the photo identity card details of any one of the passengers, while booking the ticket. On confirmation of his booking, the user can take a print of the Electronic ticket.

Reservation Slip (ERS) and can perform the journey with the ERS and the photo identity card.
• At present only confirmed / RAC tickets can be booked through e-Reservation, while WL tickets can also be booked in the normal Internet Tickets.
• The following photo identity cards are considered valid. o Voter Identity Card
• Passport
• PAN card
• Driving License
• Central / State Govt. issued Photo ID card.
• Payments for e-Tickets can be made by Credit Cards
(Master / Visa), Direct Debit or Cash Card

IRCTC levies a service charge of Rs.15/- (Second / Sleeper) and Rs.20/- (Higher Class) for the first passenger and an additional Rs.5/- for every subsequent passenger up to a maximum of Rs.25/(Second / Sleeper) and Rs.40/- (Higher Class) Cancellation of e-Ticket is permitted on the website (www.irctc.co.in) up to chart preparation. No cancellation is possible at Counters. Part / Complete cancellation is possible online – But if the passenger whose ID is recorded originally wants to cancel his journey alone, the entire ticket for the group has to be cancelled and fresh booking is to be done. In case person fails to carry ERS during the journey a penalty of Rs. 50/- is imposed. However, if a person fails to carry Photo Identity Card, then he is treated as without ticket.

2. Objectives
The objective of this project is to provide tickets to public in the comforts to their home/residence and to save them from hassles to visit “Railway Reservation Centers.” By doing this, we are not only saving time of public but also saving their cost of traveling/parking to these centers. For Railways it is saving on their infrastructure i.e. Buildings, Air-Conditioning, Electricity, Furniture, Staff etc.

3. Stakeholder
The most important stakeholders of the project are the Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS) which manages Railway Backend Software i.e. PRS (Passenger Reservation System), Broad Vision manages E-commerce application, HCL for network and security, 23 banks for online payment through Direct Debit facility, 04 Payment Gateways for Credit Card Payment, 03 Cash Card for online payment, Overnite Express for Courier Delivery.

Government-to-Citizen Services (G2C)
Through the e-Ticketing project of IRCTC, citizens (Urban and Rural) are benefited by booking the rail tickets in the comforts of their home/residence and escape from the hassles of visiting “Rail Reservation Centers.”

Sustainability
The project is self sustainable through various means. Selling Railway Ticketing Products (I-ticket, E-ticket, SOFT, and Agent Model), Sale of Advertising Space in Portal, Using IT Infrastructure resources, and (Promotional mail to captive customers.)

4. Technology Architecture

• Presentation Layer – IIS 6.0 on Windows 2003 R2 Enterprise Edition at Web Servers Layer (6 servers) with 128 bit SSL GSID Certificate for secure transmission.
• Application Layer – Broad Vision Enterprise on Windows 2000 Advanced Server ( 40 Servers)
• Database Layer – Oracle 10g Enterprise Edition on Windows 2000 Advanced Server IRCTC Architecture
• Web services layer on Apache + Tomcat on Broad Vision providing XML based interface to our services to the
interested technology partners who develop their front end e.g. on mobile devices – with 128 bit SSL GSID
Certificate for secure transmission.
• Protected by Checkpoint firewalls at the perimeter and rear (Connectivity with internet and PRS/ STEAM respectively)
• Protected by Trend micro Interscan Messaging Security and Web security for internet access and mail access and
CA and Symantec Antivirus systems for servers and desktops. Connectivity
• 72 Mbps outgoing and 18 Mbps incoming served by MTNL for internet access and Website hosting.
• OFC link with PRS, New Delhi.
• 64Kbps leased line served by MTNL for connectivity to Mumbai Print Centre.
• 64Kbps leased line served by MTNL and 64 Kbps RFC connectivity served by Sify as backup for connectivity with
STEAM servers at Mumbai for MSST.
• 100 Mbps Ethernet Wired LAN.

5. Project reach

Mobile Reservation Service: Covering four mobile operators currently posed to cover all major mobile and landline operators in the country making the system even more convenient by obviating the need for Internet access.

PNR Alert Service: An SMS based service through which the customer is kept appraised of the ticket status as it moves from Waitlist to Confirmed, before the journey.

SMS Booking: The simplest version of Mobile ticketing wherein the ticked can be booked using just 2 SMS.

Tatkal Booking: Tatkal Tickets can be booked through the site which is available in advance of 5 days excluding date of journey. Scheme of Frequent Traveler (SOFT): A unique loyalty program for upper class Railway customers whereby they accrue loyalty points for each Railway journeys performed by them. These points can be redeemed for complimentary tickets. Total register customer – 33000 (IRCTC & SBI includes). Net Earning – Rs 1.2 Cr. Total tickets redeemed online – around 650 tickets.

Mumbai Suburban Season Tickets (MSST)
• IRCTC has launched a new service for the convenience of Mumbai suburban season ticket passengers.
• Registered user of www.irctc.co.in can book his/her Mumbai suburban season ticket through Internet.
• MSST cannot be renewed through Internet.
• User can purchase a fresh season ticket valid from 2 days up to 10 days from the date of booking.
• NO SERVICE CHARGES

6. Scheme for frequent travelers (Soft)
On 20th February 2006, a Scheme for Frequent Travelers (SOFT) was launched which offers generous reward points to loyal customers & these points can be redeemed for free Railway Tickets. Apart from SOFT, SBI Credit Cards in collaboration with IRCTC has launched a Co-branded Rail Credit Card.

• To earn the benefits of this scheme a customer necessarily must be one of the passengers on the ticket and he earns Railway Points for his individual fare only. Railway Points shall accrue to his account only 5 days after the date of your journey provided his ticket has not been cancelled.
• First Year Membership Fee – Rs.500; Annual Renewal Fee Rs.300 (taxes & transaction charges extra, as applicable).
• Express Rewards Super-Fast Rewards4 Railway Points for every Rs. 100 spent 10 Railway Points for every Rs. 100
spent (Valid on tickets with Date of Travel between April 1 July 14 and September 16 – January 14)(Valid on tickets with Date of Travel between January 15 – March 31 and July 15 September 15) • Railway Points will be valid for a period of 3 years from the date of member’s registration. However, irrespective of the 3year validity period, Railway Points lapse if membership is not renewed.

Performance of SOFT

• Total Registered Customer – 33000 (IRCTC & SBI Includes)
• Approximate Earnings – Rs. 1.2 cr.
• Total Tickets redeemed online – 600 Tickets

To cater to the needs of the common man who have no knowledge about Internet. IRCTC is also giving E-ticketing facility to IATA Agents, TAAI, Petrol Pumps, ATMs and Sify I-way, RTSA, and all Govt. bodies.
Mumbai Suburban Season Tickets (MSST)

• IRCTC has launched a new service for the convenience of
Mumbai suburban season ticket passengers.

• Registered user of www.irctc.co.in can book his/her Mumbai suburban season ticket through Internet.

• MSST cannot be renewed through Internet.

• User can purchase a fresh season ticket valid from 2 days up to 10 days from the date of booking.

• NO SERVICE CHARGES

Agents: e-ticketing facility was extended to Railway agents (RTSA’s) during 2006. Later, this facility was extended to IATA/TAAI/TAFI agents also. Under the internet café scheme, major organizations like Sify, Done Card, ITZ Cash Card, Hughes communication etc. are registered for e-ticketing facility. Like wise various state Government’s like Andhra Pradesh (e-Seva),

Rajasthan (e-Mitra), UP (e-Suvidha), Kerala (Akshaya Project), Karnataka (Bangalore One) etc. are registered. Until now more than 10,000gents are enrolled for this E-ticketing facility and on an average basis they booked more than 2 lakhs tickets every day which is a tremendous achievement. Also, GSA’s of Indian Railways belonging to Nepal & Sharjah are registered.

Customer Support
Customer Support is the back bone of any organization. We at IRCTC offer excellent customer support on a 24 x 7 bases at the following numbers/e-mail.
011-23345500, 011-23344787, 011-23344773, 011-23345800,
011-23348539, 011-23348543
For Railway tickets booked through IRCTC
General Information I-tickets/e-tickets: [email protected]
For problem in on-line cancellation of e-tickets: [email protected]
For Shubhyatra users [email protected]
For Mumbai Suburban Season tickets [email protected] SPECIFIC ACHIEVEMENTS
Financial Year Tickets Booked On Website
2004-2005
12,81,033
2005-2006
25,73,612
2006-2007
68,23,481

Increase in number of e-tickets since its initiation in Aug-05 Period
Aug 2005-Mar 2006
Apr 2006-Mar 2007

e-Tickets Booked On Website
1,88,473
39,40,422

7. Conclusion
The steady growth of IRCTC’s internet ticketing project
emphasizes an increasing acceptance of the Internet ticketing system over time. In general, the conclusion is that if On-line ticketing initiatives fulfill a perceived consumer need, they are acceptable to a wide range and increasing number of customers.

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