Railways to Cut Shatabdi Fares to Compete with Road Transport

Indian Railways plans to reduce fares for short distance journeys in Shatabdi trains to avoid losing passengers to road transport, according to a report in The Financial Express. The railways observed that passenger movement among stations in-between the origination and destination stops on the route of Shatabdi trains were low as people were opting for air-conditioned buses between these stops over the train.

Due to competitive fares offered between these mid-stations, buses woo many passengers away from the railways. Speaking to FE, Mohammed Jamshed, member (traffic), Railway Board said that the railways conducted an experiment between Ajmer and Jaipur, and two stations between Chennai and Bengaluru, where they decided to reduce the Shatabdi fare.

"We saw that AC buses were charging around Rs 430 and Shatabdi fare was around Rs 470. As a consequence, the patronage on these short-lead travels was around 30 percent. So we decided to reduce the rates to Rs 350 and now the patronage has reached almost 100 percent," he told the paper.

The railways have lost a lot of business to road transport. Since 1981, the freight share of railways has declined from 62 percent to 36 percent.


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