To avoid losing passengers to road transport, the Indian Railways is all set to reduce fares for short distance journeys in Shatabdi trains across the country. As per railways, the non-terminating and non-originating railway stations on the route of Shatabdi trains has low passenger movement as maximum passengers opt for air-conditioned bus services in these sections because of less fare. This decision was taken by the Indian Railways following a concrete experiment in two such trains wherein fares were reduced heading to an unexpected increase in benefaction.
“Between Ajmer and Jaipur, and two stations between Chennai and Bengaluru, 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 per cent. So we decided to reduce the rates to Rs 350 and now the patronage has reached almost 100 per cent,” said Mohammed Jamshed, member (traffic), Railway Board. Jamshed added that railways will now introduce this system across all Shatabdi trains.