Hyderabad: The Railway's decision to introduce a dynamic fare system, along the line of the flight booking system, seems to have backfired.
A dynamic fare system allows you to edit your fare according to the demand. For example, on days when tickets are in demand, one can book a ticket immediately but by paying a huge sum.
The Railways is now looking to review this system. Railway minister Piyush Goyal, during his recent visit to Hyderabad, had informed Railway officials that he wants to examine the system and had asked them to arrange a meeting in Delhi.
If an individual books a flight ticket from Hyderabad to Delhi in advance on days when there is no demand, it will cost him around Rs. 4,000. For an on-spot booking, the price increases with tickets starting from Rs. 5,500 and above. The cost of a train ticket in Shatabdi, Rajdhani, Duranto first class and second class, would be closer to that of a flight ticket. If one travels second-class on the Rajadhani Expres by paying the second AC fare, the cost will go up to Rs. 4,800 (without dynamic) and sometimes it exceeds Rs. 5,000. During the peak period, the first AC fare goes up to Rs. 7,000. The train journey takes 22 hours. People now pay the same money and go by flight as it saves their time and money.
This has lead to a huge loss for the Railways. As the ticket costs are routine, the sales are also limited. Not being able to run two different trains at the same time due to time constraints is also leading to passengers missing out on chances for travel. The demand to change the dynamic fare system is high. A member of the All India Railway Passengers Service Committee, Venkataramani, and a member of the Railway Passengers Amenities Committee, Premender Reddy, met the Railway minister on Tuesday. Mr Goyal, during the meeting, said he is looking into the issue. He also said the Railways is facing huge losses due to the empty compartments and if the dynamic fare policy is relaxed, the Railways will again recover.