Saturday, 28 January 2023

Local AC single-journey fares to be cut down by half

Local AC single-journey fares to be cut down by half

In a significant relief to suburban railway passengers opting for Air-Conditioned (AC) local trains in Mumbai, fares have been reduced by 50 percent on single journeys. During the inauguration of the renovated Byculla station on Friday, the minister of state for railways, Raosaheb Danve, announced the reduction.

The reduced fare will be introduced soon after a notification is issued by the railway board- the apex body of Indian railways. However, there will be no reduction on monthly passes.

For example, after the revised fare, the cost to travel between Churchgate to Virar will go down to ₹105 from the current ₹210, and Churchgate to Bandra will reduce from ₹90 to ₹45.

The single-journey fares of first-class local trains are also likely to go down as after the reduction in AC local fares, the prices have become cheaper than that of first-class.

Speaking to the media, Danve said that the demand was for a reduction of 20 to 30 percent, but they reduced it by half because of the increasing demand for the trains.

He said.

“After consultation with the public and discussions with senior railway officials, we have decided to reduce the fare by 50 per cent. All single-journey fares of the AC locals will reduce,”

He added that there was no demand to reduce the monthly pass fare. “The demand for reduction was only on single journeys and not on monthly passes. After discussions with passengers and railway authorities, the reduced fares are announced,” he stated.

Read More: Maharashtra CM launches National Common Mobility Card

However, while passenger associations welcomed the move, they have also demanded a reduction in the cost of monthly passes. “It is a huge relief for passengers as there has been a long demand for fare reduction. The frequency of the local trains should also increase along with the reduction in fares of monthly passes for AC locals,” said Subhash Gupta, president of Rail Yatri Parishad.

When asked about increasing the frequency of AC locals on the suburban railway network, Danve stated that the frequency could be improved, but the operation cost of the trains is high. “It can be increased, but we have first to study the increase in passengers,” said Danve.

Passenger associations have stated that as the frequency of trains increases, passengers will also increase. “Increasing the frequency is vital. As the frequency increases, more passengers will commute by the AC local train,” said Subhash Gupta.

Meanwhile, transport experts have stated that they are expecting a 35 percent increase in passengers and that they will have to wait and see the impact.

Transport expert AV Shenoy said

“Passengers will definitely increase but it is a wait-and-watch situation. Someone spending ₹10 on a route will have to pay ₹45 on an AC local. Not sure how many will do that. Anyway, passengers might increase owing to the summer months,”

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