LAHORE: Pakistan Railways signed a deal on Monday with two Chinese companies, M/s Easyway, and M/s Norinco International Cooperation, to establish Railway Automated Booking and Travel Assistance (RABTA).
Speaking to the media at Railways Headquarters, Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique described the idea as a win-win situation for the department. He stated that M/s Easyway Company and M/s Norinco were collaborating.
Rafique stated that the project would assist passengers in planning their journey from the comfort of their own homes. He went on to say that the app would let travellers manage their tickets, seats, bookings, meals, hotels, and taxis.
“This IT-based approach is not only for passenger convenience but also for storing railway revenue records acquired through ticketing,” he added. The minister stated that the application would provide package booking and tracking capabilities, as well as access to the trains’ operation management system.
According to Rafique, the idea is centered on revenue sharing. He referred to RABTA as a key step towards modernizing railway operations. He stated that a railway would soon operate on the Sibi-Harnai segment, which would benefit the economy of four districts in the area.
He stated that a railway sub-office had been established in Gwadar and that no port could function effectively without railways. He went on to say that efforts were being made to reduce or eliminate the delays in pensions and salary.
Rafique stated that the railroad furnace would be operational by April.
Regarding railroad stores, he said that policy was being established in this regard, adding that “besides earning cash, we have to provide employment chances as well”. Trains were also being assessed because they needed to be upgraded, he added.
Concerning Main Line-1, the minister stated that a 40% cost reduction would make the project viable.