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Flexi fares to go in some Rajyadani and Duranto Express trains

With flying becoming increasingly viable option for the Indian middle class especially on long distance routes, the railways have woken up to the stark reality and have decided in principle to do away with flexi fares in as many as forty premium trains including Rajdani and Duranto expresses shortly.

Indian railways announced with fanfare two years ago introduction of flexi fares in an attempt to shore up its passenger revenue.  Under the scheme graded levy of fares were introduced in select premium trains. Railways were happy initially with the income accrued under the scheme and indeed was planning to extend the scheme to other trains as well.

But over a period of time the air fares fell sharply and the passengers especially on long distance routes preferred to fly rather spend more money and time by travelling by premium trains. For example a passenger from Chennai to Delhi has to spend nearly 32 hours on Radjdhani while the distance can be covered in just over two hours by air.

The dwindling traffic in some of the premium trains forced the railway establishment to revisit the fare structure.                                                                                                                    

In an added attraction to woo back the passengers, the railways are planning offer up to fifty per cent discount on last minute booking made for berths available up to four days before the departure of the train. A graded discount system will also in place shortly according to highly placed railway sources.

The Flexi fare scheme was introduced for 44 Rajdhani, 46 Shatabdi and 52 Duronto trains all in premium super-fast category on Rajdhani and Duranto trains from September 9, 2016. Under this scheme the fares will go up depending upon the date of journey. Fares will be cheap if you book in advance and will go up steadily till the date of the journey.  

According to sources, the flexi-fare scheme is being scrapped for trains that have shown 50 per cent bookings mostly on long distance routes. 

The focus is on finding a win-win situation for both passengers as well as the railways. The idea is to respond positively to a passenger grievance and wean them back by making rail travel affordable, competitive and comfortable in comparison to other modes.


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