Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC)on Thursday launched a new application for Windows Phone and Windows 8 devices to facilitate the users with a new channel of booking e-tickets tickets in addition to the existing portal.
The new IRCTC App,developed in collaboration with Microsoft,is expected to enhance access to its existing e-ticket portal. “With this alternative channel of booking,the passengers will have an additional convenience and better experience of booking e-ticket,” said Rakesh Tandon,CMD of IRCTC after the launch of the App.
The App has been made available exclusively for Windows devices. The users of Windows Phone,Windows 8 Desktop,Tablet,laptop can download this application free of cost as per their requirement from the Windows Phone Store and Windows Store respectively.
“We are excited to make the IRCTC App available exclusively on the Windows platform. We are committed to bring exciting and new experience to your Windows devices and will continue to create many such firsts,” said Joseph Landes,General Manager of Microsoft Corporation.Using this new App one can plan a trip,make railway reservations,check the PNR status and perform all the tasks already available on the IRCTC web site.
The service,however,will not be available between 8 AM and 12 AM and 11.30 PM and 12.30 AM as per the existing Railway guidelines. Tandon said,”We feel the App is ideal for the modern consumer who is always on the move. Windows is the most
trusted and widely used platform and offers the requisite security required while handling vast amounts of personal and financial user data.”
The App will provide the users an enhanced experience of all IRCTC website services and offer a few exclusive services to the App users. The new features for the App-users,include visual maps of train routes,among others.
“It is a pilot project and we are working with Microsoft for more than a year to make the App operational,” said Tandon adding “more such user-friendly measures are in the offing to make availability of e-ticketing a smooth and pleasant experience.”
Currently,the e-ticketing website of IRCTC is booking more than four lakh tickets per day on an average. A record 5.72 lakh online train tickets were booked on September 2 this year surpassing the earlier 5.04 lakh on August 12,the highest in a single day for the Railways so far.
With the launch of IRCTC App for train travellers,the booking of e-tickets is expected to increase considerably. IRCTC has booked 135 lakh e-tickets at an average of 4.34 lakh each day in August this year against a total of 123 lakh e-tickets at an average of 3.99 lakh daily in the same period last year,registering an increase of about 10 per cent in booking.
The overall daily average booking was around 3.85 lakh last year. It is a constant endeavour to upgrade the system so that more and more users can avail the facility,said Tandon.Outlining IRCTC’s plans in his 2013-14 Rail Budget speech,the then Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal had said the website would be revamped to book 7,200 tickets per minute,up from the current volume of 2,000 tickets,and handle 1.2 lakh customers at any given time against the present capacity to take in approximately 40,000 hits.
Electronic tickets account for approximately 48 per cent of the tickets sold every day,earning close to Rs 37 crore daily,making the website figure in the list of top ranking e-commerce sites in the country.