In­di­rect hike in train fares from March 1

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - HT Correspondent let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

An in­di­rect hike in train fares with ef­fect from March 1 through the in­tro­duc­tion of a “dy­namic pric­ing” struc­ture for the ma­jor­ity of spe­cial trains was an­nounced by the In­dian Rail­ways. The re­cent move comes ahead of the pre­sen­ta­tion of the rail bud­get on Fe­bru­ary 25.

Ac­cord­ing to an of­fi­cial cir­cu­lar dated Fe­bru­ary 3, spe­cial trains will hence­forth be in­tro­duced only on the fare struc­ture of “su­vidha trains”. Be­sides what are called timetable trains ( mail, ex­press and pas­sen­ger trains), the Rail­ways op­er­ates 12 su­vidha trains in sec­tors and pe­ri­ods when there is a surge in pas­sen­ger de­mand and spe­cial trains dur­ing peak traf­fic sea­sons.

As re­ported in the Fe­bru­ary 10 is­sue of the HT, the Rail­ways had been con­tem­plat­ing a di­rect or in­di­rect hike in pas­sen­ger fares to tide over the cur­rent fi­nan­cial cri­sis plagu­ing the na­tional trans­porter. “To­wards this end, the Rail­ways min­is­ter is likely to an­nounce the in­tro­duc­tion of more num­ber of su­vidha trains in his up­com­ing bud­get speech,” sources said.

Fares of su­vidha trains are de­mand- driven, pro­vid­ing an in­cre­men­tal 20% in­crease in ticket prices af­ter each of the five iden­ti­fied slabs. “De­pend­ing on the de­mand, the spe­cial trains will hence­forth be run as su­vidha trains,” an of­fi­cial said. “Charg­ing the dy­namic pric­ing on Spe­cials con­verted as Su­vidha trains will de­pend on de­mand. If the de­mand is not there, the Spe­cials will con­tinue to run on the ex­ist­ing fare struc­ture.”

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