Wednesday, July 11, 2007

kitna time le raha hai

While waiting in line to get a railway ticket at Kanjurmarg's new ticketing counter, heard a man in front of me say, "Kitna time le raha hai!". He had an exasperated look on his face and was referring to the unusually slow pace at which the queue was moving. I have also noticed this slow-queue-movement a few times and have attributed it to normal service time variation. Turns out that this new ticket counter is computerized and every ticket that is sold requires a few keystrokes to input the destination, the printer to print your ticket and the person to tear it off from the printer. Comparing it with the non-computerized centres, you tell the attendant your destination (same for either case), she mentally calculates the price, picks the appropriate ticket, puts it in the punching machine and hands it to the customer. At best the time difference between the two procedures maybe in the order of tens of seconds. But it apparently does have a noticeable effect, particularly at long slow moving queues.

Computerization of ticketing centres for reservations and season tickets is great, as among other reasons it simplifies accountancy and can be integrated with on-line interfaces for anywhere booking. But by using computers to vend daily one-time tickets has the queue slowed down? Is this an apt application for computerization?

Oh! mera time aa gaya, i better hurry, "ek Sion return".

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