In a move to offer relief to passengers, the fares of AC chair cars and executive classes on all trains, including Vande Bharat, along with Anubhuti and Vistadome coaches, will be reduced by up to 25%, according to a recent order by the Railway Board.
The national transporter has also decided to delegate more powers to Zonal Railways in this regard. However, this scheme will not be applicable on special trains such as holiday or festive specials. The new policy will be applicable upto a period of one year.
The element of discount shall be upto maximum 25% on the basic fare. Other charges like reservation charge, Super fast surcharge, GST, etc., as applicable, shall be levied separately. The discount may be provided in any or all the classes on the basis of occupancy.
According to the order, trains having “classes with occupancy less than 50% (either end-to-end or in some specified legs/sections depending upon the sections where discount is to be provided) during the last 30 days shall be taken into consideration.”
The fares of competitive modes of transport will be the criteria while deciding the quantum of discount, it added. The discount can be given for the first and/or last leg of the journey and/or intermediate sections and/or end-to-end journey provided the occupancy is less than 50% in that leg/section/end-to-end.
Such discount shall be initially implemented for a period as decided by PCCMs of the zones corresponding to the originating station of the train, subject to a maximum of six months for the journey dates from when it is implemented. Discounted fare may be given for the entire duration or part duration or month wise or seasonal or for week days/ weekends based on demand pattern of the aforementioned period.
The implementation of the discount will be immediate. However, no fare refunds will be provided for passengers who have already booked their tickets.
In cases where flexi fare is applicable in a particular class and the occupancy is low, the scheme can initially be withdrawn to boost occupancy.