In an attempt to ease commuting for railways travellers, public sector undertaking Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) announced its partnership with cab-hailing app, Ola. This tie-up will allow commuters to book an Ola taxi on the IRCTC app. This partnership, a six-month pilot project, will give railway travellers access to Ola booking services through the IRCTC Rail Connect App and also on its website, as mentioned in a statement by IRCTC.
Commuters will have access to Ola's Micro, Mini, Auto and Share options, but will not be able to avail any of the discounts offered by the company. Customers will be able to book cabs up to seven days in advance or even upon reaching the railway station.
There will be Ola's self-serving kiosks at IRCTC outlets as well from where commuters can book their cabs.
The move is likely to ease getting in and out of railway stations, especially the ones in bigger cities, where locating the taxi kiosks, before booking and finding the particular cab transforms into a cumbersome task after hours of travel. Moreover this move is also likely to shrink the queues waiting to book a taxi or take an auto.
An IRCTC spokesperson said that the partnership will provide first-and-last-mile connectivity to commuters. "The ease of travel of our commuters is of prime importance to us and we believe that this association will help in delivering unparalleled convenience to the users on our platform, fostering and strengthening the culture of Digital India," he said.
In addition to this, Indian Railways has adopted a policy of giving the food for free if the provider does not produce a bill. Railway Minister Piyush Goyal has taken this policy decision to address the issue of overcharging by caterers that form majority of all railway food complaints. Reports mention that all trains should adopt this policy by March 31. It has also deployed inspectors to maintain checks of fair transaction. An assessment of the situation by ministry officials found that the bulk of this issue stems from the fact that caterers refuse to provide bills citing some excuse.
The railway ministry has been making a lot of effort to provide a pleasant travel experience to passengers. From revamping trains to refurbishing existing stations and building new ones, the ministry is determined to give a makeover to Indian Railways.
(With PTI inputs)
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