The Railway Board has initiated the process of reviewing the Flexi-fare system in premium trains by evaluating the prices with that of other modes of transport in the same sectors. The move came after months of negotiations and deliberations.
To initiate this process, the Railway Board has formed a 6-member committee to review the system and submit a report in one month.
Members of this panel
The panel consists of railway board officials along with Ravinder Goyal, Adviser, NITI Ayog, S Sriram, Professor of transport economics and Iti Mani, Director, Revenue, Le Meridien, Delhi and Meenakshi Malik, Executive Director, Revenue Management, Air India.
The terms and reference of the panel shall be to inspect all options and suggest the best option keeping in mind railways’ and passengers interest.
The panel would measure the effect of flexi-fare implementation in its present form with respect to revenue generated for the railways, impact on passengers psychology in terms of their choice of the railways as a means of transport with the increased fare.
The panel would also look at ways to offer adds-on to passengers like deferred benefits or loyalty benefits for the better patronage of the scheme.
The panel shall also suggest if any revision or modifications can be brought to the flexi-fare system to offer passengers flexibility of rates during peak season, lean season or during weekdays or weekends or during festivals.
The panel has also been asked to examine the fares of the Humsafar Express launched in last year.
The Flexi-fare system was launched in September 2016, led to up to 50 percent increase in fares. Under the flexi-fare system formula, base fares of tickets increased from 10 percent to 50 percent with every 10 percent of berths booked.
However, while revenue increased, the railways lost passengers as several berths remained vacant.