Design And Implementation Of A Road Transport Booking System

Computer Science Project Material with Source Code Included

Computer Science Project Material with Source Code Included


Abstract


Most transactions in the world are now being electronic, in light of the fact that it gives effectiveness, security, precision and unwavering quality. In Nigeria, travelling companies still use the manual system of transport management which involves the use of paper/pen to sell tickets and manage seat bookings. They spend substantial costs in managing the seat reservation process. This project presents an implementation of a software program; Bus Ticket Reservation System that will be used in a transportation system, for bus seat reservation. Road Transport Booking System tends to computerize the traditional ticket booking by using web-based technologies for booking management. In order to achieve the design, ABC Transport, Anambra State was chosen as a case study because of its strategic importance in Anambra State. Structured Systems Analysis and Design Methodology (SSADM) was adopted. In addition, PHP Hypertext Pre-processor (PHP) language was used for the front-end design of the software while data storage was done using MySQL. The software achieved its capability in improving the customer relationship within the company. It is recommended that despite the present functionality of the designed software, an additional functionality such as the use of E-mail to send tickets and notifications to the customer and an online payment using credit cards/debit cards should be implemented into the system.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

The word transport means movement of people or goods from one place to another, through the means of human, cars, ship, trains, animals e.t.c. According to (Adewumi, 2010), transport modes are the means by which people and freight achieve mobility. They fall into one of three basic types, depending on over what surface they travel- land (road, rail and pipeline), water (shipping) and air. Each mode is characterized by a set of technical, operational and commercial characteristics. The transport of a person or of cargo may involve one mode or several modes, with the latter case called intermodal or multimodal transport. The human powered transport makes use of human muscle-power in the form of walking and running. However, modern technologies have been used to create machines that enhance human-power. Human-power transport remains popular for reasons of cost saving, leisure and physical exercise. The human-power transport is sometimes the only type available, especially in underdeveloped or inaccessible regions. It is considered as an ideal form of sustainable transportation. Although, humans are able to walk without infrastructure, the transport can be enhanced through the use of roads, especially when using the human-power with vehicles, such as bicycles and inline skates. We also have other means of transport including aviation, which is transport by air; Marine transport which is the means of transportation that make use of river or sea where the mode of movement is through the use of canoes, ship; transport by rail which makes use of railways and the means of transport is by train.

The prevalent view in various global circles is that man is presently living in an age growth of information gathering, processing and dissemination, popularly called the information age. For this reason, managers and other users of information especially in transport industries are demanding more kinds of information to support management and operations. They must therefore respond to the increasing requirement for information and data management. Electronic tickets, or e-tickets, gives evidence that their holders have the permission to enter a place of entertainment, use a means of transportation, or have access to some Internet services. The design of this online system will be beneficial to the company because it has not existed before. Therefore, ABC Transport, Anambra State, a viable investment whose primary objectives are: to spread comfort and hospitality to passengers away from their home, to make profit, will definitely appreciate a system which can automate its manual operations in the area of bus ticket reservation in order to meet customers increasing demand during peak and off peak seasons. The ultimate expectation is to inspire a feasibility study aimed at providing proper guidance and awareness to any future potential investors, particularly those in the bus industry, to consider utilizing the Imo transport, as a gateway to the fertile soil of unlimited opportunities in the south-east Nigeria. (Asogwa S.E, 2008).

Currently, staff at the bus ticket counter is using an internal system to sell tickets at the counter and customers who are unable to buy bus ticket online at this moment would have to go to the counter to a buy bus ticket. Sometimes, customers’ needs to queue up a long queue to buy bus ticket and ask for information and this brings a lot of inconveniences to customers. However, Online Bus Ticket Reservation System enables the customer to buy bus ticket, make payment, and ask for information online easily. Furthermore, staff can sell bus ticket using Bus Ticket Reservation System after checking the bus ticket availability for the customer and print the bus ticket to the customer.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

ABC Transport, Anambra State still uses the manual system of transport management. Many flaws have been identified in this system ranging from human errors (e.g. miscalculations in ticket price, mistakes in noting passenger data, etc.), the fluctuation of passengers during certain periods of time that causes a bottleneck in the check-in process because of the inability of the front officer to multitask and the lack of overview or report of the on-going business; making it difficult for the company to judge past/current performance or plan future improvements.

Other problems identified in the current scenario include:

  1. The travel agent wastes a lot of time recording booking information when there are more customers than he can handle at a time and this usually results in queuing and standing for a long time when buying tickets.
  2. Due to stress on the staff, over-booking for a limited number of seats is a daily problem.
  3. The head office and branch offices are at different locations. Contact must be made by each branch’s front-office to the head office for each customer’s enquiry in order to get the latest update on schedule, seat availability and other reservation-related information.
  4. There is also a physical limit to the reservation availability as each branch
    only operates during certain hours and reservations can only be made on-the-spot. These limitations are not the only issues the company is currently facing.
  5. There is lack of proper information for decision making. With the increased number of staff and agents in the company, staff nominal roll does not give easy and fast access to staff information like grade level, year of employment, salary e.t.c. Some staff may be omitted when such names are needed like in the case of staff promotion and salary payment due to loss or neglect of staff files.

Looking at these problems and limitations, it is clear that both the company and the customers require an integrated reservation system that is more efficient in information update and reservation handling and also easy to use. The web-based information system is developed to tackle the above problems.


1.3 Objectives of the Study

The main purpose of this study is to automate the manual procedures of reserving a bus ticket for any journey made ABC Transport, Anambra State. The web-based system is designed in a way where customers can book seats by themselves irrespective of location. To achieve the stated objective, the following specific objectives were laid out:

  1. Provide a web-based bus ticket reservation function where a customer can buy bus ticket through the online system without a need to queue up at the counter to purchase a bus ticket.
  2. Enable customers to check the availability and types of busses online. Customer can check the time departure for every EUMT bus through the system.
  3. Provide easy bus ticket payment by obtaining a bank pin after payments is made to the various designated banks.
  4. Provide ability of customers to cancel their reservation.
  5. Make the system secured by limiting user privileges in updating and canceling payment, route and vehicle records.

1.4 Scope of the Study

This project, Road Transport Booking System is a generic web portal application that is used for the management of ticketing, seat reservation and staff information of ABC Transport. This system aids travelers in reserving seat in a bus from anywhere. Varieties of buses that satisfy the customer’s requirements, price, and bank accounts are provided by the company managers. Travelers who wish to use the system are registered into the system. From user homepage, they can make a reservation and payment. The project used software like Visual Studio Code as a development tool, MySQL for the database, Apache as the web server. For the main effects, it used jQuery.


1.5 Significance of the Study

This project work will be of utmost importance to transport companies. The project, can serve as a marketing strategy and aids in efficient processing and delivery of itinerary receipts. This thesis is also beneficial to the world at large as it will ease the tedious processes of bus seat reservation.

Also the result of this study will be of importance to scholars researching the field of information system as it will serve as a reference to them. As a reference material, it could generate other researchers’ interests in the unfinished part of this research, especially in the full implementation and deployment of the system.


1.6 Limitation of the Study

The major limitation faced during the course of this project research is during the actual software development. PHP codes required for efficient bus reservation were difficult to obtain. This made me go for the available but less preferred code for the implementation. Although the developed system met the intended objectives, better logic algorithms would have produced a more secured system.

Furthermore, Payment with smart card will not be possible due to lack of fund to get the intereswitch facilities that are expected in this area. However payment will be done by direct payment into bank account

The inability to lay hands on previous materials on the topic slowed down my research speed. Quality materials needed for reference were difficult to obtain. Available materials did not have enough resources to be used as reference.

Also much finance was required to purchase resourceful intelligence and owing to the financial meltdown globally, the research was limited by finance and hence concentrated on the available materials.


1.7 Project Methodology

For any project to be completed, it has to go through stages called Development Life Cycles. System Development Life Cycle (SDLC) is the process of understanding how an Information System (IS) can support business needs, designing the system, building it and delivering it to users. The SDLC composes of four phases: Planning, Analysis, Design and Implementation. In order for this project to be developed, the methodology that will be used is the System Structured Analysis and Design Methodology. The SSADM is classified as a Waterfall Development. With Waterfall Development, analyst and users proceed sequentially from one phase to the next and each phase can be mapped out and evaluated (Hevner, 2004). Below, in figure 3.1 is a diagram on the waterfall methodology.


1.8 Organisation of the Study

This thesis would be presented in five (5) chapters in well-structured and coordinated order as outlined below:

  • Chapter one (Introduction): is a general introduction of the project, it gives the general idea of the project and its objectives. Also the problem statement, which is a clearly defined problem to be tackled. Finally the organization of the thesis
  • Chapter two (Literature Review): This chapter presents description and explanation for various technologies used , definition of payment system and its forms, the history of electronic payment, the types of electronic payments, security and authentication in electronic payment, and the e-payment in public transport
  • Chapter three (Methodology): This chapter introduces a brief description of the system. And approaches overall framework used in building the system. Also it includes a brief description of the software and hardware components that were used, system functional and non-functional requirements, database design, and the payment process.
  • Chapter four (Results and test): This chapter shows the results obtained when the system executed, and discusses tests performed on the system
  • Chapter five (Conclusion and future work): This chapter provides the project conclusion, limitations, and future work will be performed to improve this project.

1.9 Definition of Terms

System:

A system is a group of interrelated component working together toward a common goal by accepting input and producing output in an organized transformation process. (Brine, 1996).

Information Management:

This involves the utilization of material equipment and human resources to identify, generate, process and store information for eventual retrieval and dissemination to be used by management or individual reception objective.

Information System:

Information system is defined as a set of interrelated components that collects or retrieves, process and store information to support decision making and control in an establishment.

Management Information System (MIS):

Which is a computer-based information system that uses data recorded by TPS as input to produce routine reports to assist managers in tactical decision making?

Transportation:

Transportation is the movement of people from one place to another.

Booking:

This is the arrangement of seat on a bus made by a travel agent for passengers.

Passengers:

A passenger is a person who travels from one place to another by the means of a transporting system.

Ticket:

Ticket is a printed paper that entitles the holder to board a particular means of commercial transportation.

Manifest:

This is a form that passengers fill their personal information, next of kin and also his or her departure place and destination respectively


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Summary

In 1974, American airlines were the first to use an automated booking system, which was still almost manual. Technology grew, and a computer reservation system was developed. In this present era, online booking or reservation system has improved the operations of various sectors of a nation’s economy deploying this system. Online Bus Ticket Reservation System being a web based system that ensures that the company would be able to transform most of the processes carried out manually into automated, error-free and easy to use operations in the organization especially in the area of transportation; also it would be able to generate report for the management decision purpose. This system will be developed using a waterfall methodology for research and design purposes, PHP as the programming language because of its server-side processing capabilities that makes data process less on the client personal computer, an implementation strategy as well as testing and maintenance strategies suitable for efficient deployment of the system.


5.2 Recommendations

Research and development are continuous processes; this is the same in computer and software development. However, this work is recommended for ABC Transport since their operation are still carried out manually and it can also be useful to other Bus Transportation industries whose processes are still manually done. The system can contribute more on those bus representatives handling the account if it can generate reports by trip so that they will no longer go to a certain module to check the reservation and its details. Also, it will be more beneficial to both clients and bus representatives if clients can create an account just like in airlines websites. With that, the system can record the modifications made. Other functionalities such as E-Mail facility for sending Ticket to passenger, Online Payment with Credit Card / Debit Card etc. could also be integrated into the system in order to enhance user friendliness and interactions


5.3 Conclusion

It can be observed that computer applications are very important in every field of human endeavor. Here all the information about customer that made reservation can be gotten just by clicking a button with this new system, some of the difficulties encountered with the manual system are overcome. It will also reduce the workload of the staff, reduce the time used for making reservation at the bus terminal and also increase efficiency. The application also has the ability to update records in various files automatically thereby relieving the company’s staff the stress of working from file security of data. This project, as a whole, will give a new way in bus reservations and ticketing processes. The automation and management of seats and reservations will be done online. However, this project does not limit the walk-in passengers that are passengers who visit the company’s counter because it also caters for them. This also lessens the use of papers like in the traditional way of ticketing.


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