Not known for being user-friendly and subjected to various levels of ridicule on social media over the years, IRCTC on December 31 unveiled new avatars of its e-ticketing website and app.
Some of the features include improved payment pages for easy selection, prompts for review of journey and cache system to give current status with accuracy and faster speeds, easy predictive entry of saved passenger details, one click start of booking of the selected class and train.
Booking of meals, retiring rooms and hotels has been integrated and can be done directly along with the tickets, thus providing a one-stop solution for the needs of travellers.
In case of waitlisted tickets, 'confirmation probability' is displayed. Earlier, this had to be checked for each waitlist status separately. Also, availability for other dates can now be toggled on the page itself.
The journey details will be shown also at the payment page. It will prompt the user to check and rectify, if there are any typographical errors.
Launching the revamped website, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said it gives him immense satisfaction to launch this initiative on the last day of a very challenging year and thanked the employees of Indian Railways for their efforts.
"Despite the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, Indian Railways employees showed tremendous grit by ensuring the services are not disrupted. I say it with immense pride that throughout the year, no employee of Railways shied away from doing extra work and put in unflinching efforts so that the country's economy and the stakeholders of Indian Railways do not suffer," Goyal said.
Goyal also said IRCTC should aim to make a new website that would be the best in the world.
Railway Board Chairman and CEO VK Yadav reiterated the importance of giving users the facility of easy navigation and the changes have been incorporated keeping that factor in mind.
"I am confident the revamped website will give users a seamless experience while booking tickets and from the new year, it will immensely benefit travellers using the services of Indian Railways," he said.
At present, the e-ticketing website of IRCTC has more than six crore active users, using it to book more than eight lakh tickets daily. Around 83 percent of the total reserved railway tickets are booked through this online system.
IRCTC and CRIS are also working to introduce 'Smart Booking' feature to book connecting trains on alternate routes between the pair of stations which do not have direct trains.