India’s rail fare change slammed

8 Sep 16

A plan to introduce surcharges on three of India’s most popular train routes from Friday has sparked uproar on social media.

The state-owned India Railways, which manages much of the country’s rail network, announced yesterday that it would introduce “flexi fares” on 90% of tickets for its three premium services. These are popular because they cover most of the country and are quick and comfortable.

After the first 10% of tickets on a train are sold, the prices will begin to rise until they hit a 50% ceiling.

While presented as a more dynamic pricing model, many have slammed the move as nothing more than a fare hike because prices will not fall when demand is low.

Critics have argued the move will affect the lower and middle classes the most. It will not affect first and executive chair classes on the premium trains.

It will also bring India’s railways in direct competition with a number of budget airlines that operate the same routes.

Mohammad Jamshed, a board member at Indian Railways, told The Indian Express that the price change is being applied on a “experimental basis”.

“Like any move, this will also be reviewed after three-four months,” he added.

The heavily subsidised, loss-making service is looking to find an additional $903m in revenue this fiscal year. 

Did you enjoy this article?

Related articles

Have your say

CIPFA latest

Related jobs