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.
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.
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.
dwindling traffic in some of the premium trains forced the railway
establishment to revisit the fare structure.
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.
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.
to sources, the flexi-fare scheme is being scrapped for trains that have shown
50 per cent bookings mostly on long distance routes.
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.