90di travel search blog

Posts Tagged ‘train’

Backward compatibility for the human mind…

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

Don’t worry, its not a post on psychology. Just a whacky title.

Not just systems, but humans (and by extension data) too needs backward compatibility. Case in point the Train numbers have changed from well over a month. But lots of users are still searching for the old numbers:

6604

4646+train+route

2978

6338+ticket+availability

And also, Got one feedback yesterday, which said:
“i asked for rail fare, it gave result for flight…”

search query pertaining to above feedback was:
rail fare of 2433, rajdhani express

What was happening in this case was, since it got a flight with no. 2433. It unwittingly showed the results of the same.

So hey you anonymous friend, who got us to act, thanks! And some good news for you, and also to other users, who must have been suffering in silence. We made a change so you can search like this also, for as long as you like. And when you do get used to the new numbers, that are of course supported as well.

New trains numbers from December 20

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

You must have heard about it. Indian Railways is going in for a numbering scheme change. Effective 20th Dec, we will have the scheme change from 4 digit numbers to 5 digit numbers. Largely, it should be smooth, as the bulk of the trains – all Mails/Expresses/Rajdhanis/Shatabdis, will just have a prefix of 1 to the existing number. For example:

2833 (Howrah Express) becomes 12833

2493 (Rajdhani Express) becomes 12493

The special trains are supposed to have a prefix 0. But a check into the page set up by Indian Railways, doesn’t show this to be the case consistently. For example:

0233 (Hmh Jp Special) becomes 09733

0465(Dli Pnp Special) remains 0465

You can check for a train number change, on this page set up by Railways.

Update (on 21/Dec):

We moved to the new train numbers: Here is a full list of changes.

Check Indian Railways Tatkal availability on 90di.com

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

Our users have been telling us to include the Tatkal availability details for Trains at 90di.com. Yesterday we released this feature.

Now you can get the availability details for both General and Tatkal quota for trains. We have kept the UI simple, just select the appropriate  radio button in the availability column.

Example: Bangalore to Mumbai by train tomorrow

See the below screen shots for more details.

Train Availability - General Quota

Availability details for Train 1014

Train Availability- Tatkal Quota

Tatkal availability details for train 1014

Please  try out this at 90di.com and give your feedback on this.

microreviews.org reviews 90di; interviews me – Thanks to twitter!

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

Heard that @Infosys recently closed a deal on Twitter? @90di got a review and interview done.  Thanks to twitter.

Arkid Mitra from microreviews.org contacted 90di.com on twitter for an interview as part of their new series “start-up reviews and interviews”.  The interview was conducted on the same day. The very next day they published it. You can read the full article on microreviews.org.

They have done a wonderful job by doing a comprehensive review of 90di.com. There have pointed out some of the shortcomings of 90di. We need these kind of reviews and feedback. We will address these points.

But couple of things we wanted to clarify:

  • Mumbai to Nazira: Yes we do not show routes from Mumbai to Nazira. But we do ‘Near Search’ for this. Nazira doesn’t have Train or Flight connectivity. So we give options where users can choose a ‘big place’ near to Nazira. This list includes Dibrugarh. So if user chooses Dibrugarh, we show routes from Mumbai to Dibrugarh.
  • Mumbai to Jammu via Lucknow: 90di understands this query as the user wants routes between Mumbai and Jammu which passes through Lucknow. Since there are direct Train/Flights available between Mumbai and Jammu, we show the direct routes first. We also show the routes which have transit at Lucknow. But we agree that  in order to not confuse the user, we can remove the direct routes (being extra nice can confuse the user 🙂 just give him what he wants)

Thanks again to Arkid and microreviews.org folks for doing an effort review. All the best for your site folks!

‘Near Search’ on 90di

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

Greetings,

Its been fair amount of time since the last post, as we have been busy implementing stuff. And now its time to announce one such feature, which has been out there silently for past few weeks – Its called ‘Near Search’.

Let me explain how it works.

Often you want to travel to destinations which do not have a railway station or an airport, but have very good road connectivity from nearby big places. To give two examples:

Delhi to Munnar

Mumbai to Kasauli

Like this there are thousands and thousands of small (and/or tourist) places like –  Panchgani, Mahabaleshwar, Puri, Konark, Kedarnath, to name just a few, to which we now will be able to show connectivity and provide help in reaching there.

Behind the scenes the 90di search engine, works hard to find all the better connected places nearby and prompts a list of such places to the traveler.

Near search screen shot

Figure 1: Near search screen shot

Figure above shows a sample screen-shot of the search Bangalore to Panchgani .

In this case the user can chose the best route (train/flight/bus/and their combination) in two steps.

In the 1st step traveler can chose the best place near to Panchgani, default we give is Satara, also Pune (another nearby big place) is in the list.

In the 2nd Step user can do a route search to the place chosen.

So please do give it a try and let us know what you think. We can’t have enough of your encouragement and improvement feedback.

And if you find a small/tourist place in India not there, just tell us (Give feedback or just comment on this blog) and we promise to add it real-quick!!

Showing the train availability for next 5 days

Friday, June 26th, 2009

If you are checking for train availability on 90di.com, you will now get the availability details for 6 days in one single click. Once you click “get availability” link, we will show the availability for that particular date and a link for remaining 5 days availability.

Thanks for the feedback. They really help us to improve.

The following screen shots explain this feature.

before clicking the availability link

before clicking the availability link

availability details - shows link to next 5 days availability

availability details - shows link to next 5 days availability

next 5 days availability details

next 5 days availability details

Route Ranking for Trains

Thursday, February 19th, 2009

What is route rank?

Well, we have coined this term, to denote the quality of a travel route. There could be lots of reasons a route could be good or be bad. To name a few: the departure time, the arrival time, the train quality, the transit stoppage times, etc. and so on.

What we have trained the 90di engine to do is:  To take all these factors into account and compute a rank for the route on a scale of 0 (meaning worst) to 10 (meaning the best).

We also realize that finally humans, like you and me, are a better judge of many things. Specially when it comes to all the tacit knowledge, including the true travel quality of a travel route.

So we hope to depend on your comments i.e. what you think about a particular route (train, station, flight, or any other travel aspect) also to tune it further.

PS: Due acknowledgment (only for the name) to the  pre-existing part-namesake, that gives sleepless nights to millions of Webmasters all over the world 😉 [hope you understood what I am talking about. If not please do not hesitate to ask]

Also please do let us know if you like it or also if you hate it.

Train fare and availability improvement

Monday, April 14th, 2008

This is Kiran from 90DI team.

I just want to describe the change in our approach to get the train fare and availability. Which also means a slightly more reliable way of searching for trains, with regard to berth/seat availability.

Earlier, our approach at 90DI was to get the fare and availability of train/flight for all the routes upfront. And this fare and availability was got for those classes which were selected during the search.

We noticed that the train traveler is not too happy with this approach. As availability data for lots of legs did not use to come (because of some problems at the service provider end) and so by default those legs would disappear. It was causing people to think that there is no valid route (with availability). Although in actuality there would have been a valid train route with seats available.

So we have changed our approach for trains. Now we display all the trains along with their available classes and fare for each of those classes. And we don’t get the availability data upfront. You need to click on the “get availability” link against each train route/leg to get the availability for that train route-leg and for the selected class.

This approach allows the user to retry yo get train availability multiple times, till the availability comes. Also it offers better usability by allowing the user to change the travel class and try the availability for that class.

Hope this approach suits the train traveler to search the trains in a easier way.

Please do let us know how you find the change. We are all ears on what you say.