Sep 12, 2016

Railways claim success in surge pricing experiment

Surge fares net Rs. 1.6 crore in two days

The Indian Railways on Sunday claimed that there had been a positive response to its surge pricing initiative, with around 50,000 tickets being booked at higher fares in Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Duronto trains since the roll-out on September 9. “The results of September 9 and 10 are very encouraging. We have got good support from our passengers and think we will continue to get a similar response in the coming days as well,” Railway Board Member (Traffic) Mohammad Jamshed said at a press conference.
He said 30 per cent of the tickets booked in Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Duronto trains on Friday and Saturday were flexi-fare tickets. The Railways has introduced surge pricing beginning Friday under which fares will increase up to 40 per cent with every 10 per cent tickets sold in these premium trains.

“In the highest fare segment, 2,700 tickets were booked on September 9 and 3,200 tickets on September 10,” Mr. Jamshed said adding that the railways had earned additional revenue of Rs. 80 lakh per day on September 9 and 10. Once half the tickets are sold out, fares rise to 1.5 times of the previous base fares in the premium trains.

“The additional revenue will be reinvested in upgrading trains and stations to offer better passenger amenities,” he said.

He said the measure, like any other “good governance step”, would be reviewed after a period of time.


Countering criticism on the surge pricing, Mr. Jamshed said: “There are some solid benefits in travelling in rail — it is hassle-free, eco-friendly as the CO2 emission up in the air is damaging, door-to-door convenient, comfortable and relaxing, more destination options and you can travel with more luggage.”

Mr. Jamshed said the hi-speed, lightweight Spanish train Talgo had successfully completed the final trial run between New Delhi and Mumbai in 11 hours and 42 minutes.

According to a railway official, the train departed at 2.45 p.m. from New Delhi on Saturday and arrived at 2.33 a.m. on Sunday at Mumbai. The trial covering a distance of 1,384 km clocked a top speed of 150 kmph. There have been four trial runs of the Spanish train on the Delhi-Mumbai route.

The Rajdhani trains currently take around 15 hours and 50 minutes to cover the same distance at 130 kmph.