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Matching supply with the demand for reserved seats in Indian Railways

By on December 5, 2013

Indian Railways is the only organisation left in India where black marketing and touting is still continuing. It is the only organization where emergency quota system exists. The quota system has long been eradicated from all other departments. How long will this continue? There is no scheme of Indian Railways in sight to come out of this. Has Indian Railways given it up?

Queue for Reserving Seat in Railways

Indian Railways have passed through a bad phase during the current year where its integrity has a big beating. It has also resulted in a complete stalemate of policy decision in Indian Railways. This is the right time for Indian Railways take decisions which results in complete elimination of black marketing and touting in train ticketing. This is possible by proper management of supply and demand. Demand is not that very high that it cannot be managed. In fact, every person who wants to travel finally travels in one or the other way. Here is a suggestion to manage the demand.

  1. The special trains being operated are not very popular with passengers. The leftover from the regular trains only decides to travel by special trains.
  2. No railway man, politician or person that matters prefers to travel by such trains.
  3. Even regular trains have a status of reputation and passenger priorities based on this reputation attached to the train. Indian Railways shall do some home and marketing work to uplift and bring all trains at equal status.
  4. Release summer, winter and festival special trains in advance which have been decided based on the traffic in different directions. Market these trains with value added service such as
    • Run special trains non-stop from end to end or even if required have only few commercial stoppages. It should take at least 15 minutes less than the conventional train. Run these trains on time and without any precedence en-route from any of the conventional trains. These trains to have maximum number of 24-26 coaches. Presently the punctuality of special trains are not on the radar of Indian Railways monitoring system for questioning and fixing responsibility.
    • Provide facility for seat selection on special trains as prevailing with international flights
    • Market value added on-board services like cleanliness, choice catering through mobile delivered at seat, security of passenger, no water shortage  etc.
    • Reservation booking for these trains shall start earlier than conventional trains. Effort shall be to achieve minimum 95% passenger Km of total seat km capacity.
    • Extra seasonal traffic shall be welcomed to special trains much in advance through marketing efforts  instead they reluctantly shifting to special train
    • Make journey by special trains enjoyable with few freebies like mineral water bottle, rail magazine etc.
    • The reservation window of train to open one month in advance instead two months. The concept of advance reservation in the airways is for the purpose of attracting passenger on discount ticket to make sure full booking at the time of departure. It is not so for Railways where the tickets are booked on the very day of its opening at most of the time. Railways shall decide to reduce the reservation time from present two months to one or half a month. Advance reservation for special trains shall be in the range of two months.

Do this and add value to the great Indian Railway Brand which of late has taken a big beating. Emergency quota is not a sign of power by inviting smelling scam if the news have some value. http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/28274432.cms


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