Ashok Khemka takes on Indian Railways for introducing surge pricing in Rajdhani, Duronto and Shatabdi

By: | Updated: September 8, 2016 10:43 AM

Ashok Khemka has taken on the Indian Railways for introducing the concept of surge pricing in premium trains, Rajdhani, Duronto and Shatabdi.

Rail fare hike,Train fare hike, Rajdhani fare hike, duronto fare hike, Shatabdi fare hikeAshok Khemka on surge pricing in Indian Railways: Demand-supply argument valid in case of competition. Indian Railways is monopoly. Imagine surge pricing in other monopolies or basic needs. (PTI Photo)

Ashok Khemka, the Principal Secretary to Government of Haryana, Science & Technology Department, has taken on the Indian Railways for introducing the concept of surge pricing in premium trains Rajdhani, Duronto and Shatabdi. Questioning the rationale for this move, Ashok Khemka said, “Surge pricing in train travel exploits citizens’ helplessness. Similar step by taxi aggregators, Uber and Ola, was frowned upon.” “Demand-supply argument valid in case of competition. Indian Railways is monopoly. Imagine surge pricing in other monopolies or basic needs,” Khemka tweeted.

Applicable fro September 9, the new ‘flexi-fare’ system for Rajdhani, Duronto and Shatabdi class of trains would work like this – the base fares will rise 10% with every 10% of berths sold, subject to a ceiling. This is very similar to the model that the aviation sector already follows. There will be no change in the existing fare for 1AC and EC class of travel. Other supplementary charges like catering charges, reservation charges, service tax, superfast charge will be levied separately, based on applicability. These will not see any change.

Railways has said that the information with regards to flexi fares will be displayed to the passenger at the time of booking, so that in case the fare of the lower class exceeds that of the higher class, the customer can exercise the option to travel by the higher class.

Rail fare hike,Train fare hike, Rajdhani fare hike, duronto fare hike, Shatabdi fare hikeSurge pricing for Rajdhani, Duronto and Shatabdi

Indian Railways has launched surge pricing aiming at making a dent in the cross-subsidy for this segment, which is pegged at over Rs 30,000 crore. The railways have not given any estimate of the revenue gain from the latest move.

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