In a good for railway passengers, they could get cheaper deals if they plan their journey in advance. The proposal can turn into reality if the recommendations of a fare review committee are being approved by the Railway Board.
In a report submitted this week, the committee has suggested graded discounts on the basis of number of vacant seats in a train, sources said. Similar to airlines, committee officials have recommended discounts from 20 per cent to 50 per cents depending on the number of vacant seats available at the time of booking.
In an another proposal, the panel has suggested discounts for tickets booked after charting. It has added that discounts can be offered in slots from two days to two hours before the departure of the train.
Just like air travellers who are being charged more for front-row seats, passengers will have to pay more for choosing lower berths, the committee said. However, senior citizens, people with disabilities and pregnant women could be allotted the seats free of charge, the committee added.
The committee has also suggested that fares of trains which reach their destinations at “convenient” times should be increased as against those that arrive at “odd hours” for example between 0000 and 0400 hours and 1300 and 1700 hours, the officials said.
The Railway Board is likely to make changes before approving the recommendations, the sources said.
Instead of having a flat fare around the year, fares should be increased during the festive season and reduced during lean months, the committee suggested.
The committee consists of some Railway Board officials, NITI Aayog adviser Ravinder Goyal, Executive Director (Revenue Management) of Air India Meenakshi Malik, professor S Sriram, and Iti Mani, Director, Revenue, Le Meridien, Delhi.