Georgian Railway has introduced many innovations for improving the quality of services. All passengers who often travel by train appreciate these changes. Georgian Railway draws a great number of passengers thanks to low-cost tickets.
Dachi Tsaguria, a head of the Georgian Railway service quality development office, talks about specific innovations and plans:
– The situation in passenger trains has dramatically improved. Today, we have many innovations. What specific projects do you implement to improve the quality of services?
– Georgian Railway receives revenues from cargo transportation and we subsidize passenger transportation services. We do our best to create full comfort to our passengers and to make their travel more pleasant. We have introduced a new cleanup system with modern equipment and technique. The system enables to clean carriages by 180-degree steam and high pressure. Previously, we used to clean carriages from outside by hand. We have restored the wash plant for carriages that had been suspended after the Soviet Union collapse.
Today all carriages are washed by special brushes at the wash plant and only after that carriages go to platforms.
At the same time, we make focus on improving the quality of services. Therefore, we have signed an agreement with Ilia State University’s Business School on training our staff. Cashiers, operators, conductors, who directly relate with passengers, pass trainings. This is an irreversible process. We are very content with results of these trainings, because the quality of services has improved.
Moreover, for many years information displays had not worked. As a result, passengers could not receive information on when this or that train would enter the platform. We have bought due equipments and installed them at 18 main stations all over Georgia, modern electronic information displays.
To improve the quality of services, we have simplified ticket purchase process. In summer the flow of passengers grows, therefore, long queues arise at booking offices. To order the queue, we have installed special regulating systems to manage queues. We have also performed much job to alleviate ticket purchase process.
Today passengers are able to buy tickets on various websites, for example, on www.railway.ge or at quick payment terminals
It should be also noted, according to various international reports, Georgian Railway has set one of the lowest tariffs worldwide and ranks second in the world and first in Europe. Ticket prices ranges from 1 GEL to 55 GEL depending on destinations. We have also introduced 10-month discount campaign and our passengers are able to buy 40-GEL tickets at 25 GEL and 23 GEL tickets at 18 GEL.
All these innovations inspire us. We do our best to maintain low prices and simultaneously, to increase the quality of services.
– As to arrangement of wagons and platforms, last period wagons were improved, but we suppose considerable job should be still performed…
– We have launched intense rehabilitation of carriages. Wagons unrepaired for 10 years used to run to foreign countries. The foreign park has been almost fully amortized. We have not spared efforts on this project and we have repaired 17 wagons of 20 ones. By the end of 2015, we plan to have overhauled all 20 wagons.
We have also repaired locomotives, 7 ones. They were modernized at the highest level jointly with the Locomotive Repair Plant. Georgian Railway has never had so valuably and thoroughly repaired locomotives. These machines were tested and they showed very good results.
We also provide active job to repair platforms all over Georgia. At this stage, we have reconstructed 8 platforms and we plan to repair 12 ones in 2016.
– What other projects will Georgian Railway implement?
– Naturally, we will not be confined with only these innovations and we plan to introduce many other projects. We are working on changing the ticket sales system. The new system will be introduced in summer 2016. This system will secure passengers from unexpected complications, fore examples, if passengers lose tickets, they will be able to travel by train anyway.
– Would you unveil further details of this system?
We want to introduce e-tickets with barcodes with information on passengers. Conductors will check e-tickets through barcode readers.
Moreover, we plan to rehabilitate Tbilisi Railway Station. As reported, we have repaired Batumi railway station through an entirely new concept. Today Batumi Railway Station is the best one in Georgia. I would like to congratulate not only Batumi residents, but the whole country on this fact. We also want Tbilisi Railway Station to have a good appearance. We are developing a new project and we believe everything will be excellent.
I would like to assure all passengers of Georgian Railway that we care to create full comfort to each passenger.