Train travel costs less than apples, brooms and sugar, says Indian Railways

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Published: September 9, 2016 12:21:15 PM

Suresh Prabhu-led Indian Railways has come out with an interesting way to counter criticism for the newly introduced flexi-pricing or surge pricing in Rajdhani, Duronto and Shatabdi trains.

Rail fare hike,Train fare hike, Rajdhani fare hike, duronto fare hikeIndian Railways has tweeted out a chart that compares the train travel cost (non-premium) between two cities to the cost of brooms and apples!

Suresh Prabhu-led Indian Railways has come out with an interesting way to counter criticism for the newly introduced flexi-pricing or surge pricing in Rajdhani, Duronto and Shatabdi trains. Stating that this pricing system for premium trains does not affect the common man, the Indian Railways has tweeted out a chart that compares the train travel cost (non-premium) between two cities to the cost of brooms and apples!

Sample this, according to Railways it takes Rs 45 to travel between Lucknow and Kanpur (73 km at Rs 0.62 per km) from a general class train – the same as the cost of 1kg sugar! Similarly, New Delhi to Agra train fare (194 km at Rs 0.44 per km) for the general class is Rs 85, and you can buy 1 kg of apples in the same amount! The ‘costliest’ item that Railways has spoken of is a broom, comparing the Lucknow to Jhansi journey cost of Rs 100 to it (293 km at Rs 0.34 per km)!

The comparison has been made for train travel of less than 300 kilometres and Railways has also compared the relative fares of general class trains, sleeper class trains and buses. Indian Railways has also come out in strong defence of its flexi-pricing policy for the premium trains, stating that it is being introduced on an experimental basis. Railways has also said that such a system is internationally followed.

Also read: Suresh Prabhu’s strong defence of surge pricing in Rajdhani, Duronto and Shatabdi

Seeking to dispel myths surrounding the system and its comparison with surge pricing that taxi aggregators follow, Railways has said, “The methodology of price rise in our case is transparent and completely predictable. Also the price rise is limited by an upper ceiling of 50% of existing fare unlike the surge pricing of cab aggregators.” Reports suggest that the surge pricing for 131 premium trains launched by Indian Railways will fetch it an additional Rs 500 crore from the passenger segment in FY17. According to the new “flexi fare system”, the base fare will rise 10% with every 10% of berths, sold subject to a ceiling.

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