All you need to know about rail tickets surge pricing

The timing for the experiment by railways could not been worse in view of the festival season rush

GN Bureau | September 9, 2016


#Rail Budget   #Suresh Prabhu   #Indian Railways   #Railways   #Surge Pricing  


Facing criticism on dynamic surge pricing for premium train tickets, the railway ministry has clarified that the dynamic pricing is being done for experimental basis and will be reviewed after sometime.

Earlier, on September 7, railways announced that ticket fares for Rajdhani, Duronto and Shatadbi trains will be increased by 10 and 50 per cent more under a dynamic surge pricing+ system to be introduced from September 9.

Ministry of information and broadcasting through its official Twitter handle of PIB shared a series of tweets on Thursday to clarify the sudden change in the pricing of Rajdhani, Shatabi and Duranto. Railways has said that the change will affect only 0.15 million passengers out of the 23 million passengers travelling daily.

 



Here are a few points raised by RailYatri.in, a data company that follows trends in railways.
 

 

  • Sleeper class ticket prices will get affected because of the introduction of surge pricing - while those of first AC and executive class have been exempted. Shouldn’t it have been the other way round? There are just few sleeper coaches on these premium trains, so revenue-wise not much is going to come out from sleeper class travelers.
  • The timing could not have been worse - especially as travelers are heading into a festival season. For many it is going to hit the pockets hard.
     
  • Expect big arguments happening at the railway reservation counters - we don't expect many train travelers to understand and have a rational view of sudden on-the-face price increase. The demand-supply being the deciding factor, pricing is going to be super volatile, with the next person paying more than the previous one. It may also increase pressure on booking clerks to book faster and take lesser breaks between booking hours.
     
  • It is typically seen that the first 10% of the tickets are booked by touts - especially in the peak rush season. Will this encourage them to book early and increase their demand?
     
  • Introducing dynamic fare prices on just these 3 types of trains is not going to move the revenue needle much for the Railways. After all there are only about 300 of these premium trains in all. So we can safely guess that this scheme will get introduced on other trains too. Perhaps, a precursor to dynamic pricing in many more trains!

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