Indian Railways has recently launched its new timetable – Trains At a Glance – which came into effect from August 15. The falling falling seat occupancy rate and CAG rebuke have forced railways to revise its Flexi-fare scheme. The new scheme may be launched from next month. The move may bring relief for passengers who in some sectors pay as much as airfares for the premium trains, reported PTI.
The revised Flexi-fare scheme may follow a formula used for the Humsafar Express trains in which the first 50 per cent berths will be sold at a 15 per cent higher price than the base price. The slab will change with every 10 per cent of the berth sold thereafter.
Under the new scheme, the public transporter can also offer special discounts on less busy routes.
The final shape for such a move will be announced by next week, an official said as its removal would also lead to refunds for advance bookings.
Railways is witnessing a lean month as occupancy has fallen to as low as 30 per cent on many routes. Due to low occupancy, railway may also drop the Flexi-fare scheme for temporarily.
Recently, a CAG report had come down hard on the railways for the Flexi-fare prices and it stated a comparison with airfare for 13 sectors showed that travelling in an aeroplane was cheaper than in train for a large number of routes.
In terms of absolute numbers, the premium trains carried 2.40 crore passengers during the post-flexi period (September 9, 2016 to July 31, 2017) as compared to 2.47 crore passengers during the pre-flexi period (September 9, 2015 to July 31, 2016), said the CAG in its report.