You’ve seen the trend in the airline and the hotel industry. At last, the Indian Railways will adopt the flexi-fare scheme, according to Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, in The Economic Times.
According to Goyal, the Railways has formed a six-member committee exclusively to review the flexi-fare scheme and is studying a model of dynamic pricing—similar to that offered by airlines and hotels.
Mentioning that the Railways should offer discounts on routes with low occupancy, Goyal also mentioned that in the coming year, plans are being made to utilise assets fully.
He cites the example of the airlines, where, after a 30-minute maintenance check, a plane is fit to fly again. Connecting that example to the railways, he mentioned how the Rajdhani Express from Delhi to Mumbai stays at the station for maintenance.
Goyal stated that if the train is cleaned by 22 teams in half an hour, it can be used for another two-hour journey, in addition to its original return route.
The six-member committee, set up on December 11th, has been tasked with recommending ways to devise a more lucrative scheme, which could include loyalty points and other passenger benefits.
The panel also wishes to modify and amend the flexi-fare system, to offer passengers flexible fares during peak season, lean season, weekdays, weekends and festivals.
Launched in September 2016, the flexi-fare system led to up to 50% increase in fares. According to the formula, base fares increase from 10% to 50%, with every 10% of berths booked. The Railways experienced an increase in revenue, but lost passengers, with several berths going vacant.
The new scheme hopes to increase train bookings, and make sure the locomotives are used to their maximum capabilities.