Automated Railway Ticketing System: Replacing the paper based ticket with the Electronic National Identity


Trains are a popular mode of public transport used by daily commuters in Sri Lanka. However, the process of ticketing in the trains causes a number of inconveniences. At present, some countries use a debit card designed exclusively for train travel as a means of reducing the hassle. However, the paper based ticket is still commonly used for train travel in many countries, including Sri Lanka. The aims of this research are to develop an automated ticketing system that would replace the existing train ticketing system while providing an online seat reservation system. Due to the increase in efficiency of the proposed system, it would be beneficial to the commuters as well as the staff of the Department of Railways. From the beginning of 2016, the Electronic National Identity Card (henceforth referred to as e-NIC) was proposed to be used in Sri Lanka. The research presents an alternative system of ticketing where the e-NIC is mainly used to replace the traditional train ticket, thereby increasing the efficiency of the purchase and the use of train tickets. The e-NIC is combined with the bank account of the commuter. The system supports four types of passes, the e-NIC, prepaid pass, booked ticket and kids pass. Once the commuter enters a station, the pass is initially validated by the platform scanner (PS), upon entering a certain train, the train number and station he/she enters is recorded by the train scanner (TS). Once he/she gets down from the destination, the TS and the PS validate the train details and trip cost is deducted from the account. This new method has many advantages over the traditional train ticketing system. These include reducing the time spent on ticket purchase, eliminating the need to use cash in the process and strengthening the security of the issue and purchase of the train tickets. This would also help in the prevention of ticket fraud. The program was white box tested. This is proposed to be used in Sri Lanka, however the method can be expanded to other countries. The concept system was developed using Java and backed up by MySQL databases.

ICT for Development Working Paper Series