Railways introduces surge pricing for Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Duronto trains
In a major decision, the Ministry of Railways has decided to introduce a dynamic fare system in premium trains like Rajdhani, Duronto and Shatabdi from Friday onwards. The changed fare scheme, which has been termed flexi fare system, would increase the travel cost of premium trains as per the demand of berths.
Interestingly, the dynamic pricing model will only be applicable to three-tier and second AC travellers in Rajdhani, while it will not be applicable for first AC and EC passengers. The passengers of sleeper and second class in Duranto Express trains would also face the price-surge pinch.
The surge-pricing model that could kick up a political storm in the coming days has been rolled out after the success of the premium booking service, which was opened in all express trains.
With this decision, the rail fares are set to rise in premium trains where Railways has introduced this system which will push up ticket tariffs upto 10 per cent on the base price with every 10 per cent tickets sold.
It means that rise in train fares during peak holiday and festive seasons although surge pricing would as of now be limited only to these three trains mostly preferred by middle-class passengers. Other supplementary charges like reservation charges, superfast charge, catering charges, service tax etc would be levied separately.
According a senior Railways official, the fares would start increasing once 10 per cent of total seats get booked for a day and after that for the next 10 per cent seats a passenger would have to pay 1.1 per cent more on the base price, while for the third 10 per cent, travellers will have to pay 1.2 per cent more on the base fair.
“The tickets will be 1.3 per cent costlier during the fourth slot of 10 per cent of allotted seats and it will be 1.4 per cent costlier till the ninth slot of 10 per cent ticket booking, which means passengers would have to pay 1.4 per cent more of their existing fare if they fail to get a confirmed ticket till 30 per cent of total seats in three-tier AC category. While for second class AC, the fares would be 1.5 per cent if one fails to get a berth till 50 per cent of total seats in Rajdhani and Duranto trains,” the official said.
The chair class fares of Shatabdi would also see a surge of 1.5 per cent on the base price as per second AC booking tariff plan. The changed system will also be applicable for second and sleeper class passengers in Duranto express trains.
There would be no change in the present limit of berths set aside for Tatkal quota in these trains. However, no additional charge as “Tatkal charge” would be levied. Also there will be no premium Tatkal quota in these train services.