According to the “fares of competitive modes of transport,” the government is granting up to a 25% discount in the basic fare of “AC chair car and executive classes of all trains having AC seating accommodation” to encourage passengers to board trains that are experiencing low capacity.
In accordance with the Saturday instruction from the Railway Board, zonal railroads will keep track of trains for 30 days, and if occupancy in the AC chair car and AC Executive class is below 50%, they may reduce the base ticket by up to 25% in order to “optimise utilisation of accommodation in trains.”
In areas where the Railways are contending with competition from buses for short distances, the policy is anticipated to benefit prestige trains like Shatabdis, Vande Bharats, and others.
The discount only applies to the base fare; all other fees, such as the reservation fee, Superfast premium, GST, etc., will be collected separately. The ruling states that while determining the amount of the reduction, “the fares of competitive modes of transport shall be the criteria.”
If necessary, the discount may also be given for round-trip travel. The TTE may also approve the discount if all other requirements are met.
The discount will take effect right away, so people who have already made reservations at higher prices won’t be eligible for a refund. According to the order, tatkal quota is not applicable to the sectors where this discount is used.
For trains which have flexi-fare scheme, this discount will be applicable only after it is seen that there is no improvement in occupancy.