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Rail Saarthi

Your speed ticket to a healthy journey
Containing the spread of COVID-19 by minimizing contact in regular interactions on Indian railway stations.

Winner at the
D'Source Corona Design Challenge 2020 (DCDC- Interaction Design Catagory)
Team: Soumil Panwar, Ayushi Gupta, Kasturi Katale, Tanishqa Bobde, Rishika Kedia, Shrunoti Tatiya
My Role: Project lead, design strategy, research and product design
Duration: 4 weeks

Design Brief of Challenge:
Create Interaction Design/Service Design solutions to appropriately manage people in public spaces considering the infectious pandemic: COVID-19.
Public space of choice:
Indian Railway Stations (least organized public sector spaces)


Key Problem Areas


  1. Washrooms: A hotspot for physical interactions

  2. Elevators: A lot of people crammed in a very small space and touch the walls

  3. Waiting Area: A lot of people come in contact with the same piece of furniture

  4. Water Taps: A lot of people come in contact with the tap. The surroundings are generally always wet.


  1. Currency notes are highly prone to transmission

  2. Ticket checkers interacts with a lot of people in different cities every day

  3. The management have a lack of focus on hygiene 

  4. Vendor shops selling cooked stuff will be an issue: lack of trust.

  5. Waste disposal system and its workers would be prone to exposure

  6. Coolies would be considered a hotspot and others coming in contact with them or the luggage.

  7. Vendors who sell through windows or go inside the train would not be trusted upon


  1. Pushing people and running for trains is a very common practice

  2. The unhygienic behaviour of commuters put others at risk

  3. An attitude of 'me first' in trains promotes overcrowding

  4. People have no sense of how to use washrooms.

  5. People would have a phobia of catching the virus

  6. People are self-centred and do not have faith in the existing system.

  7. Leaving the luggage in the hands of strangers is not safe

Problem Statement

With the goal to contain the spread of COVID-19 by minimizing contact in regular interactions on Indian railway stations:

  1. How might we individualism the railway station experience to minimize contact with people in crowded situations?

  2. How might we make ticket verification simpler/contactless?

  3. How might we ensure safe work for railway workers with community involvement?

  4. How might we ensure safe public washroom interactions?

  5. How might we organize the movement of people and luggage in the railway station?

Target Audience
The Indian railway stations are massive public spaces with different kinds of service providers and passengers. During the pandemic situation, it was critical for us to cater to all the stakeholders as any transmission could massively escalate. It was also during this time that the Indian government has a hold on all rail transport and a solution like this could help them re-open the services with safety. Apart from travellers, the ticket checkers were identified as a group of people at high risk. These officials travel by train and are responsible to validate and selling tickets to all the passengers. 
We decided to build solutions to secure passengers and ticket-checkers within the scope of this challenge.

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Within these journey maps, we identified vulnerable touchpoints which require design intervention. 

The Solution

A project video elaborating Rail Saarthi from problem definition to solution detail. This video was used as a pitch video for the competition.

The solution to this problem space is a systemic intervention of different kind of solutions at various stages of the journey. Rail Saarthi is a holistic solution to help passengers be aware of covid regulations (accessible information), navigate through the railway infrastructure safely and perform essential actions with no or minimal contact.


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Physical Interactions

We deployed the best possible, low-cost solutions to ensure distancing and detection to be implemented within the railway infrastructure.

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Digital Interactions

We propose bringing ticketing, verification and navigation into a mobile application. To promote fast discovery and adaptation, this app could be embedded within existing popular ticket booking and train-related applications and websites and be adapted to their own design language. 

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Other Projects: UX Design

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