Travelers in India will be able to purchase train tickets easier than ever before. The Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) will allow an SMS service to book and cancel tickets via text message.
This user-friendly way is beneficial to all cell phone users and helpful to the environment, according to the Economic Times. India has a population of about 1.45 billion people, so finding ways to reduce waste—because paper tickets would be eliminated—will help the environment.
It doesn't hurt that the service will help reach more mobile device users than using an application that usually requires an internet connection.
The pilot program is set to begin in July, which means the service is not available during peak hours of 8 a.m. through 12 p.m. In order to enroll in the program, users must submit their phone number and a bank account to make a seven-digit Mobile Money Identifier, according to the Times of India.
As of right now, there is not a designated line for the IRCTC's SMS service. Once it is established, customers will need to text "BOOK," wait for the transaction to go through and type "PAY." Those who are not as tech-savvy are invited to book tickets on the phone and get the confirmation number in a text message.
Between "BOOK" and "PAY," travelers must provide information like name, train number, destination, date, age and class. To prevent confusion, only six tickets can be booked per SMS order at this time.
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