Now onwards, Indian Railways passengers of premium trains can take a sigh of relief as they no more have to pay high fares for travelling which they were doing until now. AS per the reports, Indian Railways is coming up with the Flexi-fare scheme which will help in cutting down the fare prices of premium trains of Indian Railways. The system of dynamic pricing was introduced over about 40 trains in September 2016 which made the fares of some trains even costlier than the tickets of several airlines.
Now, Indian Railways for the remaining 102 trains under the scheme will come up with a flat 50 per cent discount on the tickets for ‘last-minute’ bookings made for the seats available up to four days before the journey. Besides this, a graded discount system will also be introduced by the department for trains who have bookings of less than 60 per cent of its total seats.
In order to make the schemes available for the passengers, Indian Railways performed a trial run on the Chennai-Mysuru Shatabdi in which the bookings and occupancy hit the higher end after the Flexi-fare scheme was tweaked.
Under the Flexi fare scheme, the fare of the train remains variable as it is increased by 10 per cent with every 10 per cent occupancy/booking of the total number of seats of the train. Besides this, a tariff cap of 140 per cent and 150 per cent for AC-III tier class of travel and for all classes except AC First and Executive Chair Car will also be provided by the department under the scheme.
As per the sources, the Flexi fare scheme has faced a lot of criticism from passengers since its launch, as the fare of the trains increases with the increase in occupancy.
Apart from the passengers, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report also criticised Indian Railways for introducing Flexi-fare scheme in the system. “Several routes on which the Flexi-fare scheme has been introduced, passengers opted for air travel as it was more affordable and convenient,” stated CAG report.