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Fare System In Rajdhani, Shatabdi And Duronto Trains May Be Revised To Benefit Passengers

In the present flexi-fare system, train fares go up as soon as a certain number of seats are booked in premium trains such as Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Duronto.

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Fare System In Rajdhani, Shatabdi And Duronto Trains May Be Revised To Benefit Passengers

The flexi-fare system was implemented in Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Duronto train in 2016.

Highlights

  1. The flexi-fare system was implemented in 2016
  2. Currently flexi-fare system is applicable only in premium trains
  3. Flexi-fare system may not be conducive for Railways, some say
Railway Board chairman Ashwani Lohani has hinted at a revision in flexi-fare system in premium trains like Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Duronto, saying there will be some tweaking which will benefit both passengers and railways. Mr Lohani, who earlier headed Air India, said flexi-pricing structure works well in competitive transportation like the airlines, where private operators vie with each other to increase occupancy. But when it comes to trains, the Indian Railways is the only passenger service operator and flexi-fare system may not be conducive for passengers, the Railway Board chairman said.

In the present flexi-fare system, train fares go up as soon as a certain number of seats are booked in premium trains. "There will be some tweaking in some areas which will be beneficial to both passengers and the railways," Lohani said.

Currently flexi-fare system is applicable in premium trains such as Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Duronto which allows only 10 per cent of the seats to be sold in the normal fare. Thereafter it goes on increasing by 10 per cent with every 10 per cent of berths sold with a ceiling of 50 per cent.

The flexi-fare system was implemented in 2016.

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Railway minister Piyush Goyal had earlier said that instead of flexi-fares, a dynamic pricing system was being considered where discounts could be given during off season. The fares would automatically adjust through artificial intelligence, algorithms or technology, to help trains have more occupancy, thus maximising revenues, the minister had said.

In another development, Ministry of Railways in a statement on March 1 said Merchant Discount Rate (MDR) charges will not be levied on passengers for booking railway tickets (at the railway ticketing counters as well as through IRCTC ticketing website) on payment made through debit cards for a transaction value up to Rs. 1 lakh. Merchant discount rate or MDR is the amount that a merchant has to pay to its service providers when a consumer uses a debit card to pay for the transaction.
 

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