Improving Porter System - Addl Inputs

Via this circle, we have had structured discussion on the current porter system. Since the circle has more than doubled in size, we would like to seek everyone's inputs on the subject. Below are the Issues, Root Causes and Solutions as identified by you to improve the Porter System at stations.

Kindly review and share any additional inputs you might have!

Improving Porter System at Stations

Issues Identified:

1. Porters lift luggage without quoting price and then quote what they feel like by unionizing with other porters thereby cornering the passenger to their quoted price
2. Porters do not follow quoted Government Porter rates at all and act unaware.
3. Many porters get aggressive quickly and fight with passengers over payment
4. They consume alcohol and come to work
5. Their behaviour towards the passengers is very rude
6. Theft of luggage by unauthorised porters is a frequent occurrence
7. Porters are nowhere to be found at night
8. Porters don’t wear their badges
9. Porters congest the exit path of the compartment by rushing into coaches as soon as train reaches the station

Root Causes Identified:
1. This is an unorganized sector of employment
2. Majority of the porters are uneducated
3. The porter code of conduct is not enforced by the unions
4. Most of the porters don’t earn very well
5. They try to make as much money as possible from the passenger
6. Porters have strong unions and are capable of disrupting the working of the railways
7. There is no questioning authority to control the porters and hence they do what they feel like doing
8. There is no harsh punishment for the porters who are caught breaking \the rules
9. No check on unauthorized porters on the stations
10. Porters want to reach the passengers first and hence enter the train even before it comes to a complete halt
11. Lack of baggage trolleys at railway stations fuels the requirement of porters
12. Porter charges are not visible on the station/inside the trains and hence the passenger does not know what is the right amount to pay

Solutions Identified:
1. The price list of the porters should be mentioned at different places in the trains and on stations
2. Porter unions should be monitored closely and brought under the Government lens
3. Porters caught asking more money than the printed pricelist should be challaned on the spot
4. Repeat offenders should be stripped of their badge
5. Every porter should have a unique ID that is displayed on their badge and can be used during complaint filing
6. Prepaid porter system should be introduced which is SMS based driving porter to passenger
7. Every coolie should have a weighing machine and rate should be fixed by railways depending nature of luggage and its weight
8. Wearing prominently visible badges should be made mandatory
9. There should be a queue/number system for the porters to follow to attend a passenger
10. A phone-complaint number and an online complaint system should be enabled which should be prominently visible on stations
11. The passenger complaints should be registered at the union office
12. A vigilance team should be created by the station master which keeps an eye on unauthorized porters
13. Luggage trolleys could be made available on stations on a chargeable basis
14. NGOs should be roped in to train the porters on customer service
15. Porters should be trained on the ‘Code of Conduct’
16. The union and Railway Authorities should make sure that the Code of Conduct is enforced. more  

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Hope this suggestions doesn't come too late .As a travel organizer I have taken lots of groups of foreigners by Trains in India to give them a train travel experience. No doubt the porters become greedy when they see fooreigners with huge baggages [many of us indians have also statred taking huge baggage that doesn't fit in the cubicles.] Later I realized that that there is a Baggage restriction for dimention and weight. So inform this to my foreign guests advice them to follow that . Once your baggage is not huge you have the edge to bargain and also roll your own baggage yourself.
The remedies :
1.Trawlies with good wheels [Rubber tyre as in Kottayam Rly. stn and not worn out iron] should be made available at the stations.Could follow the model available in Koyambedu Bus terminus in Cheennai and the airport and charge the passengers heftily.

2.Escalators have to be provided in all stations, as women elderly can't climb the flight of 35 to 40 stairs themselves , immagine with the Baggage.

3.Bggage restrictions, wt and dimention wise has to be implemented to encourage passengers to travel light . We don't see the in platforms the quote " Travel light for comfortable and safe journey ". Charge those having more than the wt and number of baggage. Those with bigger bagge make them deposit in the recently proposed additional Goods van in every train and charge them well .

4. It is also unfair for the porters . The battery operated vehicles is only for passengers and not for Baggage . Their baggage should not be allowed at all on the vehicle. Like a handicaped person has to be accompanied to get his concession the person accompanying them shoul handle it or a porter shoul carry it. WHY NOT CHARGE FOR THE SERVICE OF SAY r.s 50/

5. Porters should be used as guides to direct the passengers to the weighing scale to to load the big and heavy ones in the goods vagon attached to the train AT A COST FROM THE PASSENGERS. more  
15006 गंगा राप्ती 9.40 यानि21.40
बजे से बरेली स्टेशन से लगभग 15 km पहले रुकी खड़ी है ढाई घण्टा हो गया more  
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Mr.Kashyap's pt.6reg.trolleys .It will work only in some (not all) terminus stations like bct,cstm Mas,hwh due to platform locations and staircase with landings. Of course trolleys can be collected and stored at locations by staff as in airports. Years ago I found one can take the trolley from Heathrow airport to tube station Thro travelator .In German airport you have to collect the trolley from a stand by inserting a coin and you get the amount back automatically if you leave it properly at any other stand.But we have to wait for such things. Meanwhile, last week when I landed at HZMN station at Delhi, a coolie demanded R's 300 to carry my 3 piece luggage from near staircase on pf2 to outside seeing the formidable staircase and the chill and my age I had to make a hard bargaining to settle at R's150.Railway s have to enforce a formula since nowadays trains have 24 or so coaches and pfs more than 10 etc. more  
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