Mumbai: In a bid to optimise the utilisation of accommodation on trains and boost occupancy, the Ministry of Railways has announced the introduction of a discounted fare scheme for AC chair car and executive classes. The scheme, which was implemented with immediate effect, will be applicable to all trains with AC sitting accommodation, including Anubhuti and Vistadome coaches which currently have less than 50 per cent occupancy.
Passengers can now avail a discount of up to 25 per cent on the basic fare, however, other charges such as reservation charge, superfast surcharge and GST will be levied separately. To determine the eligibility for the discount, trains with classes having an occupancy rate of less than 50 per cent in the last month will be considered. Interestingly, fares of competitive modes of transport will be taken into account while deciding the quantum of discount.
Tatkal quota will not be earmarked for trains
However, tatkal quota will not be earmarked for trains where the discount is provided on an end-to-end basis. Additionally, if the discount is provided for a part of the journey, the quota may not be available for the specific section. The discount will be applicable for tickets booked up to the preparation of the first chart while train ticket examiners may also permit the discount onboard.
“The discount can be offered for the first leg of the journey, last leg of the journey, intermediate sections, or end-to-end journey, provided the occupancy rate is less than 50 per cent in the respective section,” said a senior official, adding that discounted fare scheme will be initially implemented for a period as decided by the principal chief commercial managers (PCCM) of the zones corresponding to the originating station of the train. The maximum discount duration will be six months while it may be applied for the entire duration or part duration, month-wise, seasonal, or on weekdays/weekends based on the demand pattern during the specified period. Regular reviews will be conducted and based on the occupancy rate, the discount may be modified, extended, or withdrawn.
“For trains with inter-zonal originating/destination pairs, the discount in fare may be given in consultation with the PCCMs of other zonal railways or managing director or chief commercial manager,” explained the official.
In case of poor occupancy..
Another official said that if a train has poor occupancy in a particular class where the flexi fare scheme is applicable then it may be withdrawn initially to increase occupancy. If this measure does not result in improved occupancy, then the discount scheme may be made applicable to those trains/classes.
“It's important to note that tickets on passes to others, fare differences on railway passes, concessional vouchers, coupons for elected representatives and freedom fighters will be booked at the original class-wise fare and not on the discounted fare,” he said.
It's important to note that this scheme will not be applicable to special trains introduced for holidays or festivals, the officials underlined.
Scheme implemented with immediate effect
Will focus on trains or classes with less than 50% occupancy
Fares of competitive modes of transport will be considered while deciding quantum of discount
Ticket examiners will be able to offer discounts onboard
The discount will be on the basic fare; other charges – reservation charge, superfast surcharge and GST – will be levied separately
Fares will also depend on those of competitive modes of transport
Tickets on passes to others, fare differences on railway passes, concessional vouchers, coupons for elected representatives and freedom fighters will be booked at the original class-wise fare and not on the discounted fare
The scheme will not be applicable to special trains introduced for holidays or festivals