Mumbai: The fares for short distance journeys in the superfast Shatabdi Express are set to be reduced in order to avoid the loss of passengers to road transport, reported the Indian Railways.
The Indian Railways took this decision following a positive experiment in two such trains wherein fares were reduced leading to a sharp increase in benefaction.
It was observed that there was low passenger movement between non-terminating and non-originating railway stations on the route of Shatabdi trains and people were choosing air-conditioned buses instead of trains.
Due to competitive fares offered between these mid-stations, buses woo many passengers away from the railways.
“We saw that AC buses were charging around Rs 430 and the Shatabdi fare was around Rs 470. As a consequence, the patronage on these short-lead travels was around 30 percent. So we decided to reduce the rates to Rs 350 and now the patronage has reached almost 100 percent,” Mohammed Jamshed, member (Traffic), Railway Board said.
He added that between Ajmer and Jaipur, and two stations between Chennai and Bengaluru, we saw that AC buses were charging around Rs 430 and the Shatabdi fare was around Rs 470. As a consequence, the patronage on these short-lead travels was around 30%. So we decided to reduce the rates to Rs 350 and now the patronage has reached almost 100%,
Losing traffic to roads has been a prime concern of the Indian Railways. Since 1981, the freight share of railways has declined from 62 percent to 36 percent.
Meanwhile, Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Saturday said there are several projects lined up for making railways more innovative in the country, but added that there is a death of funds despite due assistance from the Centre.
Source: Times Now