In an attempt to rationalize the flexi-fare scheme in some trains, the Eastern and South Eastern Railways have proposed to do away with dynamic pricing in some premier trains like Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Duronto Express on an experimental basis starting from March 15, 2019. An official was recently quoted in a PTI report saying that these trains suffer from poor patronage. Sanjay Ghosh, Spokesperson of South Eastern Railways was quoted in the report saying that the flexi-fare will be discontinued for the trains which have an average monthly occupancy of less than 50 per cent. He added that the present maximum current cap of 1.5 times would be reduced to 1.4 times in all classes.
He explained that a graded discount of 20 percent on the last fare will be given for trains with flexi-fare and for Hamsafar trains where occupancy of a particular class is less than 60 percent four days prior to the scheduled departure of the train. The discount is to increase the occupancy of less patronized classes like the 2nd AC, 3rd AC and AC chair car. Moreover, the flexi fare has been completely discarded in 12277 Howrah Puri Shatabdi Express beginning from March 15, 2019 for six months, on an experimental basis. In fact, flexi fare will be discontinued in the months of February, March and August in 12020 Ranchi Howrah Shatabdi Express, 12278 Puri Howrah Shatabdi Express and 12453 Ranchi- New Delhi Rajdhani Express.
S Mahapatra, Spokesperson of Eastern Railways was quoted in the report saying that the flexi fare has been cancelled for a fortnight from March 15, 2019 to March 31, 2019 in 12041 Howrah-New Jalpaiguri Shatabdi Express and 12042 New Jalpaiguri-Howrah Shatabdi Express on an experimental basis.
The flexi-fare scheme was introduced across the Indian railways network’s premium trains in September 2016. As a Diwali gift this year, Indian Railways decided to rationalise the scheme in traisn where occupancy was hit due to higher fares as a result of dynamic pricing.