Taking note of low occupancy in some of its premier trains, the railway ministry on Saturday announced a reduction of up to 25% of the base fare of AC chair car and executive class tickets. The decision, which kicks in with immediate effect, will be applicable to trains such as
if their occupancy falls below 50%.
The occupancy rate of the recently-launched Vande Bharat trains on three new routes – Indore-Bhopal,
are in the range of just 21% to 55%.
The discount will bring some relief to passengers, considering that Vande Bharat tickets are priced higher than all other trains.
“But apart from the discount, other charges such as reservation charge, super fast surcharge, GST, as applicable, shall be levied separately,” according to a railway ministry statement. tnn
Passengers who have booked tickets can’t seek refund: Rly min
This scheme shall be applicable in AC chair car and executive classes of all trains having AC sitting accommodation, including
and Vistadome coaches.
The national transporter has decided to delegate more powers to zonal railways in this regard. It also said that the trains having classes with less than 50% occupancy – either end-to-end or in some specified legs/sections depending upon the sections where discount is to be provided – during the past 30 days shall be taken into consideration. “The fares of competitive mode of transport shall be the criteria while deciding the quantum of discount,” it added.
The railway ministry also said that passengers who have booked tickets can’t seek refund of fare and the scheme will not be applicable on special trains introduced such as holiday and festival specials.
As per the scheme, in case of trains where flexi-fare scheme is applicable in a particular class and the occupancy is poor, the flexi-fare scheme may be withdrawn initially as a measure to increase the occupancy. Shatabdi is the only train with AC sitting accommodation in which flexi-fare scheme is applicable. So, the new norm is likely to bring some relief to passengers of these trains with low occupancy.