Railways to review flexi fares, could slash prices
The Railways has now revealed that it would review the flexi fare system and may slash ticket prices. While this structure had given a revenue push, it also flooded the ministry with complaints about high prices. Numerous seats were left unoccupied due to high prices. Railway minister Piyush Goyal, said a way to meet "the revenue target without hurting people's pocket" would be formulated.
Trains getting expensive: Premier trains to start levying flexi fares
The Railways introduced the flexi fare system for trains like Rajdhani, Duronto, and Shatabdi from 9 September'16. This, in effect, meant that the base fare increased by 10% with the sale of every 10% berths/seats. Other additional charges like reservation, catering and service tax are separate. However, there wasn't any change in the fares for 1AC and EC class of travel.
How many trains will be affected by this?
The flexi fare is only meant for the 42 Rajdhani, 46 Shatabdi and 54 Duronto trains. The Railways is expecting a Rs. 500 crore revenue jump with the introduction of the flexi fares.
The flexi fare ropes in Rs. 540 crore revenue
The Railways revealed that under the flexi fare system, an additional revenue of Rs. 540 crore was earned. Given this, it is unlikely that the scheme would be discontinued by the Railways. A senior official said that 85,000 passengers had been gained since the launch of the scheme, pointing towards the fact that "even passengers are not averse to the scheme."
Vacant seats in premier trains lead to flexi fare revisions
Given the rise in the number of vacant seats, the Railways revised the flexi fare structure to lure last-minute travelers. The 30% tatkal fees was waived off premier trains. After the preparation of the 1st chart, a 10% rebate will be given for vacant berths. Apart from providing discounts for certain trains, the tatkal quota was also reduced from 30% to 10%.