Fares of AC chair cars and executive classes of all trains, including Vande Bharat, and those with Anubhuti and Vistadome coaches will be reduced by up to 25 per cent, depending on occupancy, a Railway Board order has stated.
The fares will also depend on those of competitive modes of transport.
With a view to optimising utilisation of accommodation, the rail ministry has decided to delegate powers to principal chief commercial managers of railway zones to introduce discounted fare schemes in trains with AC seating.
“This scheme shall be applicable in AC chair car and executive classes of all trains having AC seating accommodation, including Anubhuti and Vistadome coaches,” the Railway Board order stated.
“The element of discount shall be up to a maximum 25 per cent on the basic fare. Other charges like reservation charge, super fast surcharge, GST, etc, as applicable, shall be levied separately. The discount may be provided in any or all the classes on the basis of occupancy,” it said.
The order also said that trains having “classes with occupancy less than 50 per cent (either end-to-end or in some specified legs/sections depending upon the sections where discount is to be provided) during the last 30 days shall be taken into consideration.” The fares of competitive modes of transport will be the criteria while deciding the quantum of discount, it added.
The discount can be given for the first and/or last leg of the journey and/or intermediate sections and/or end-to-end journey provided the occupancy is less than 50 per cent in that leg/section/end-to-end.
“The discount shall be implemented with immediate effect. However, no refund of fare shall be admissible for already booked passengers,” it said.
In case of trains where flexi fare is applicable in a particular class and the occupancy is poor, the scheme can be withdrawn initially as a measure to increase the occupancy.
This scheme will not be applicable on special trains introduced as holiday or festival specials.