Recently I was booking few train tickets for my in-laws at IRCTC website, which btw is a wonderful website that makes the whole train reservation affair so simple. Just then I have realized that even though you can book tickets online, you still need to carry a printout of the ticket when you board the train. I see 2 different problems here,
- Access to printer and internet connection are not always possible. Just like the case above, even though I could book the tickets, my in-laws still had to go to internet cafe and get the ticket printout. This is annoying not only because they don’t know firefox from just a fox, but also they loose precious time and money while doing this.
- People forget to carry the printouts quite often and the consequences are meaningless. The importance given to the actual printout over whether the payment is done, whether the person is present is mind-boggling.
So here is a simple business idea for any willing soul, a ticket printing machine that accepts the PNR number and secret code (just so that anybody else wouldn’t print your ticket) along with a 5 rupee coin and prints out the ticket in return.
Here is how this can work,
- First up, when you reserve an e-ticket at IRCTC or other partner sites (like cleartrip or airdeccan.net etc.), you will mention a 4 digit pass code as well
- Then you show up at the station (well, to begin with the idea can be implemented in large train stations like Chennai central, SBC, Mumbai CST etc.), fetch out a 5 rupee coin and put it in the slot of ticket printing machine
- Then you will enter the PNR code and passcode using the touch screen. The system will contact the partner site (like IRCTC etc.) and fetch the ticket printout for you
- Then it will fire the printout from the connected printer, you grab it and move towards your respective platform
I think the best companies to implement this could be banks, they have atms near transportation places (like railway stations, airports etc.), they have computer, network connection, paper and printing mechanism ready and they are already partners with travel sites (like IRCTC, cleartrip, makemytrip etc.). Better still, they need not even charge money from you, instead they can take the money from your debit / credit card. This way they could remove the need for passcode as well.
What do you think?
My name is Chandoo. Thanks for dropping by. My mission is to make you awesome in Excel & your work. I live in Wellington, New Zealand. When I am not F9ing my formulas, I cycle, cook or play lego with my kids. Know more about me.
Thank you and see you around.
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