Indian Railways
Indian RailwaysReuters

Indian Railways is mulling dynamic fare pricing for all reserved categories in express and mail trains.

Passengers may end up paying much higher prices when the demand goes up if such a pricing mechanism is introduced. The Railways is already carrying out such pricing for a few special "Suvidha" trains.

The public transporter is contemplating the mechanism, which is currently followed by airlines, after successfully implementing it for premium and Suvidha trains.

"Yes, we are considering the proposal," The Economic Times quoted Sharat Chandra Jethi, additional member (commercial), Railway Board, as saying.

The move to introduce the dynamic pricing mechanism is to enable genuine passengers to get confirmed tickets, said a senior Railways official.

"People are ready to pay if they get a confirmed berth. Dynamic pricing and strict cancellation provisions will help genuine travellers and discourage touts," he added.

Earlier this month, the Railways had doubled the charges levied on cancellation of tickets and made the refund valid only till four hours before the scheduled departure of a train.

The new rules, which became effective from 12 November, are targeted at preventing black marketing of tickets, thereby helping "genuine passengers" obtain confirmed tickets.

Jethi said the implementation of new ticket cancellation rules led another 10% of passengers to book tickets.

He added a hike in cancellation charges prevented many passengers from abandoning their travel plans at the last minute.

As per the new rules, passengers will have to pay Rs 60 instead of Rs 30 towards cancellation of a second-class confirmed ticket 48 hours before the scheduled departure of a train, while the fee will be Rs 180 for a Third-AC ticket.

The cancellation charge for second-sleeper class ticket has been increased to Rs 120 from Rs 60, while the charge will be Rs 200 for Second AC tickets.

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