To counter mounting losses, the Indian Railways (IR) is planning to do away with the ‘free journeys’ offered on season pass tickets, said a railway board officer. The decision is likely to be taken in the railway budget.
“The subsidy on season tickets is likely to be removed partially or completely. Instead of charging for 15 single journeys, the railways is looking at increasing it to 25 or even 30 single trips,” said the officer.
In the Mumbai suburban railways, for a first class pass, commuters are charged for five to eight single journeys, while for a second class pass, they are charged for 11 to 15 single journeys. Around 80 per cent of commuters are season pass holders. “While commuters pay for 15 journeys a month, they end up making 60 trips,” said an officer.
In a report submitted earlier to the Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC), consultants had suggested correcting the structural anomalies in the season tickets. The report was sent to Railway Board, which decided to do away with the subsidies offered in March.Fearing a roll back by the new government, the Board immediately withdrew the notification ‘until further notice’ the same evening, and has kept it pending for the new government’s approval.
As per the initial notification onsMay 16, passengers’ fares were to be revised from May 20, with a ten per cent increase in fare of all classes of trains, except in the fare of the minimum distance.
The second class monthly season ticket fare of suburban and non-suburban rails will be charged on the basis of 30 single journeys instead of 15.
The fares of first class monthly season tickets will be priced at four times that of the second class . The revision is also applicable for quarterly, half-yearly and annual season passes.