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How could complex public services be restored safely during the Covid-19 Pandemic in India?
Rail Saarthi: Your Speed Ticket to a Healthy Journey
Rail Saarthi is an emergency response intervention intended to streamline safe reopening of rail services for Indian Railways.
This project won the D'Source hackathon by the National Institute of Design and the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay.
Soumil Panwar, Ayushi Gupta, Rishika Kedia
Project Management, Service Design, UX Design
Indian Railways and the Covid-19 Pandemic
During the Covid-19 Pandemic in June 2021, railway transportation was stopped for public use and diverted to supply of emergency supplies and essentials.
Millions of migrant workers were stuck in parts of the country struggling to return home with no alternative to get back safely.
The Indian government realized the need to restart public rail transportation but had concerns about preventing the spread of Covid-19 and safe crowd management in public spaces.
Overpopulation Challenges Safety
Infrastructure is overburdened
Rail infrastructure today caries 80-100 times the passengers it was built for
Migrant workers lack awareness
High expenses with no income in larger cities led to panic and an urge to rush home among migrant communities
Covid induced anxiety
Travelling in public spaces was stressful, risky and intimidating for many
Containing the spread of Covid-19 by minimizing contact in regular interactions on Indian railway stations.
How might we individualize public railway station experiences?
How might ticket verification on crowded trains be made contactless?
How might we organize movement of people and luggage on railway platforms?
Key Stakeholders at High Risk
Migrant Worker Communities
Indian citizens traveling to rural cities and villages due to the non-affordance of livelihood in larger cities. These workers. These workers migrated in large groups with a lot of belongings for up to 22 hours continuously.
Traveling Ticketing Inspectors
Railway staff with a responsibility of checking tickets onboard trains and ensuring safety of parrengers. These inspectors travel on the same train and go passenger to passenger for ticket verification.
Current User Journey Maps
We created 2 user journey maps depicting interactions of people with various systems in the current scenario while traveling in Indian trains. These helped us identify touchpoints with a high risk of virus transfer through contact to focus on and design an alternative system.
Frugal Adaptations of Physical Interactions
Essential services in public spaces this crowded are unavoidable. Low-cost solutions to prevent contact need to be deployed as a priority. A storyboard here highlights major recommended adaptations.
Awareness of Covid Related Infrastructural Adaptations
There was a need to streamline and simplify wayfinding for travelers to adapt and use existing railway systems safely.
Adding a layer of essential information on existing and familiar railway station maps
These adaptations could simply be stickers on physical maps
Rail Saarthi Mobile App and API
With an intent to streamline ticketing, we recommended a Rail Saarthi mobile app for android with a feature of being embedded in existing railway ticketing and service mobile applications as an API.
Existing Railway Apps
API integration of Rail Saarthi
Faster user adoption
Mascot as a Button
Aimed at simple recognition
Red highlights helps in identifying Rail Saarthi
Rail Saarthi Dashboard
Only essential information
3 simple features
SELF CHECK IN JOURNEY
Avoid Ticket Checking
Scan QR to self-check-in
Ticket checker is updated and he skips your seat
ID and ticket stored on the app digitally
2 Step process
Complete self-check-in in two simple steps
Consolidated information and details for essential services
Checkin Before Time
PNR and journey date update train schedules and personalize protocol information
Travellers are given clear instructions for new protocols for the station they board
Simple Journey Details
Updated and realtime updates for trains within a digital ticket for simple and clear navigation
Intra Station Maps
Maps to help find active and essential services that a passenger might need on a train station
Extremely personalized direction given to disperse crowd flow and provide the shortest paths to their seats
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