On Wednesday at Africa Rail which held in Johannesburg South Africa, Passenger Affairs Deputy Director Enrico Trapazzo of Trenitalia, an Italian Government-owned railway company, mentioned that digital revolution will soon affect rail operations at a station and ticketing level. Bar-less ticketing will enable passengers to walk straight through a station and directly onto a train without using a ticket of smart card.
It is also expected that personal bots will replace ticket counters and websites, which are more than 20 years old. An Internet bot is an application that performs an automated task. Rather than passengers going to a ticket counter or website, entering their details and searching for tickets and services, a personal bot will be able to book tickets on their behalf. This bot will also be able to tell customers if there are any major disruptions on the railway and help plan other routes if there are any available. Another innovation is flexible tickets, said Trapazzo.
These tickets allow passengers to select a range of times they are available to travel, instead of having to select a fixed time.Instant refunds would also be possible for passengers affected by delays, seeking compensation, through a mobile phone system called ‘c2c Automatic Repay’, he added. UK rail operators are already trialing this new tool, as reported by Engineeringnews.