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Indian Railways to Introduce Surge Pricing For Rajdhani, Duronto And Shatabdi

The Railways have decided to put in place the flexi-fare system for premier trains. Under the new ‘flexi fare system’, usually followed by airlines, the base fare of tickets will increase with the rising demand.

Currently it will be applicable to Rajdhani, Duronto and Shatabdi from September 9 only. There are total 42 Rajdhani trains, 46 Shatabdi and 54 Duronto trains.

The base fare for Rajdhani, Duronto and Shatabdi trains will be on flexi-fare system, according to railways. However, there will be no change in the existing fare for 1AC and Executive Class of travel in premier trains.

While 10 percent of the seats will be sold in the normal fare in the beginning, it will go on increasing by 10 percent with every 10 percent of berths sold with the ceiling limit at maximum 50 percent depending upon the demand.

For 2AC and Chair Car, the maximum hike is 50 percent while for 3AC, it is 40 percent. Other supplementary charges like reservation charges, superfast charge, catering charges, service tax as applicable shall remain unchanged.

Other supplementary charges such as reservation fee, superfast charge, catering charge, and service tax shall be levied separately. For tatkal booking, while no tatkal charges will be applicable, the fares for seats under tatkal quota will be 1.5 times of the base fares for all the classes, except 1AC and the executive class.

The revised pricing system may lead to passengers moving away to airlines from the Railways network.

The fares for travel in 3AC coach of Mumbai Rajdhani Express from Delhi to Mumbai can go up to Rs. 2,736 from Rs. 2,085 at present, if the highest surge rate applies.

Similarly, in the same train, the fares for 2AC can go up to Rs. 4,054 from Rs. 2,870 at present. Ticket for travel in 1AC coach in the same train costs Rs. 4,755 at present.

According to a travel portal, as many as four airlines offered fares in the range of Rs. 2,245-Rs. 2,550 for travel on September 14 between Delhi and Mumbai.

The new fare system will affect the sleeper class passengers of Duronto trains too. The fares for a passenger on MAS Duronto Express for travel between Delhi and Chennai can go up to Rs. 1,617 from Rs. 1,210 at present.

All transport systems have dynamic fare pricing at present and the Indian Railways is also moving in that direction. Our Suvidha trains run on a dynamic fare structure under which surge pricing goes up to 3.9 times,” Railway Board Member (Traffic) Mohammad Jamshed said.

The Railway Ministry said it will display information to passengers during the booking in case the fare of lower class becomes higher than the higher class to exercise option to travel by the higher class.