Indian railways is within the last phases of diluting its flexi-fare scheme which was launched in September 2016 – a transfer that can come as a giant reduction for passengers as practice ticket prices go down. Sources informed Financial Express Online that suggestions for partially taking away the flexi-fare scheme have been despatched to railway Minister Piyush Goyal who is predicted to take a call quickly. “The railway Board has sent the final recommendations on flexi-fare scheme to the minister, a final clearance is now awaited,” sources informed FE Online. So, will the flexi-fare scheme be utterly finished away with? No, however modifications will likely be launched according to the demand sample of the trains, sources mentioned.
“There are more than hundred trains on which the flexi-fare scheme is applicable. The recommendations that have gone to the railway Minister suggest that flexi-fare be removed from some trains, while on others some modifications be made,” a railway ministry official informed FE Online. “However, till these recommendations are approved by the railway Minister, nothing is finalised,” the official added.
According to a ToI report, flexi-fare scheme will likely be faraway from as many as 40 trains, whereas in 102 trains a suggestion of up to 50% low cost on last-minute ticket reserving could also be given. This could be relevant for up to 4 days earlier than the practice journey. A graded low cost scheme may be launched for trains with low occupancy charges, the report mentioned. The transfer comes on the again of a trial run on the Chennai-Mysuru Shatabdi the place occupancy went up after the flexi-fare scheme was tweaked, the report claimed.
Since its introduction, the Indian railways flexi-fare scheme which will increase the practice ticket tariff as the occupancy fee goes up, has come below criticism from passengers. The flexi-fare scheme was launched on Shatabdi, Rajdhani and Duronto Express trains. The practice fare will increase by 10% as each 10% of the berths/seats are occupied/offered. There is a tariff cap of 140% for AC-III tier class of journey and that of 150% for all courses besides AC First and Executive Chair Car. Incidentally, put up introduction of the flexi-fare scheme, it grew to become cheaper to journey by air on some routes.
Recently, a report by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) additionally slammed Indian railways for introducing flexi-fare scheme in an advert hoc means. According to CAG, on a number of routes that the flexi-fare scheme was launched, passengers switched to air journey as a extra reasonably priced and handy choice. The report additionally said that occupancy developments of trains counsel that some passengers even switched to travelling in Mail/Express trains as an alternative of the trains by which flexi-fare scheme is relevant. CAG has really useful that Indian railways ought to rationalise the flexi-fare scheme and proceed with it solely on routes the place the demand warrants.