New Delhi: Riding on some Shatabdi trains, counted among the fastest trains in the country, may soon become cheaper.
In a bid to ensure optimum utilisation of resources, Indian Railways has identified 25 such Shatabdi trains in which the scheme could be implemented. "Indian Railway is actively working on a proposal in this regard," a senior government was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
- The fares are likely to be slashed on sections with low occupancy. The move comes after the success of a similar pilot project implemented on two routes.
- Earlier, Railways implemented a similar move for the Shatabdi train running between Chennai and Mysuru and the fares were reduced between Bengaluru and Mysuru, resulting in 63 per cent growth in passenger bookings between January and November last year, PTI reported quoting the government official.
- Another route where the scheme was implemented was for the Shatabdi train running between Jaipur and Ajmer. "The move yielded positive results for us. What we did was we offered fares in these premium trains equivalent to bus fares plying on the particular stretch," the official said.
- The Indian Railways runs 45 Shatabdi trains. Rajdhani and Duronto trains are among the other fastest trains.
- In another move to optimise resources, Indian Railways is reducing the layover time of a train for introducing more services. The Railways is now looking to run 100 new trains on shorter and longer routes. While 25 new trains have already been introduced, 75 more would be run within this year.
- The move comes at a time when Railways is facing flak for flex-fare system. The flexi-fare system was introduced by Indian Railways for premier trains -- Rajdhani, Duronto and Shatabdi -- on September 9, 2016. Under the flexi-fare system, the base fare increases by 10 per cent with every 10 per cent of berths sold, subject to a prescribed limit.
- In January this year, an eight-member committee reviewed the flexi-fare system and recommended discounted fares in trains with low occupancy, Minister of State for Railways Rajen Gohain had said in a written response to a question in the Lok Sabha.
(With inputs from PTI)