Railway hikes passenger fares in Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Duronto.

In a bold move, the Railway Ministry has brought in a reform to increase the fare prices of the Duronto, Rajdhani and Shatabdi express trains. Even after the hike, the railway is still the cheapest mode of travel for a common man. The decision has been made on the model of dynamic fare system in vogue in the aviation sector. The flexi fare system will be introduced in the II AC, III AC, Chair Car in the three trains where the 10 per cent of the seats will be sold in the normal fare in the beginning but it will go on increasing by every 10 per cent with every 10 per cent berths sold with a maximum cap of 50 per cent. The I AC and the Executive Class has not been included in this system because of the already prevailing high fares. The sleeper class will also be charged in the Duronto Trains. While the maximum hike for II AC and Chair Car will be 50 per cent, for III AC, it will be 40 per cent. The Ministry targets to earn Rs. 500 crore from 42 Rajdhani, 46 Shatabdi and 54 Duronto trains by introducing the flexi fare system. It targets to achieve Rs. 51,000 crores of revenue which is passenger induced in contrast to the Rs. 45,000 crore in the last fiscal year, an increase of Rs. 6000 crore in 2016-17. There will be hardly any difficulty for the common man to avail to the railway services as the majority of the population use the unreserved segment where there is no price hike. The aforementioned train mostly cater to the high-end category of the passenger segment and comprises of a small segment of the population.A price hike in the railway was much needed as the carrier service had been facing losses in the passenger segment. As mentioned by Minister of State for Railways, Manoj Sinha in the Lok Sabha inApril, the total loss incurred by the Ministry in the passenger segment was Rs. 33,490.95 crore in the financial year 2015. While railways’ primary mandate is to make cheaper travelling possible for the common man, it is in the interest of the public that railways remain operationally viable to stay here for long.