The Indian Railways, in a bid to push for optimum utilisation of resources, might reduce the fares on the famous Shatabdi trains. This is subject to low passenger occupancy, according to a senior government official, in the Economic Times.
The fare cuts, are likely to be on sections with low occupancy. A test pilot of the project was implemented on the Shatabdi train running between Chennai and Mysuru, with the fares being reduced between Bengaluru and Mysuru. The result? A 63% increase in passenger bookings, between January and November last year.
In the pilot last year, the passengers paid a fare of Rs 300, as opposed to the regular fare of Rs 438. This fare was applicable for both the legs of the journey—between Mysuru and Bengaluru on the 12007 Chennai Central–Mysuru Shatabdi Express.
The national transporter runs around 45 Shatabdi trains, and these are among the fastest and the most efficient in the nation. According to a Railway official, this is part of a larger plan, to ensure that resources are utilised in an optimum manner. Another proposed plan involves reducing the layover time of a train, to introduce more services.
The layover time refers to the time a train remains stationed at the origin or destination point. This time will be used to run the train on new routes.
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The reduction in layover time will allow the Railways to run new trains. They are now looking to run 100 new trains on both short and long routes. Already 25 of these are operational, with the rest soon to follow.