Monday was a red-letter day for Central Railway’s (CR) suburban system as the crowds of commuters lining up at ticket windows to insure themselves against the impending railway fare hike ensured that all-time sales records of season tickets were smashed. By the end of the day, CR had sold a whopping 95,385 season tickets whereas the normal average season ticket sale for any day is around 42,000. In fact, so robust were the sales, CR officials pointed out, that just the sale of monthly season tickets at 56,679 crossed this daily average of total season tickets.
The revenue, a very handsome Rs 7.08 crore, was 2.7 times the normal revenue CR earns in a day from selling season tickets. Considering the massive hike in season tickets set to ring in at midnight on Tuesday – in the range of 100%-125% – commuters showed a preference for half-yearly and yearly season tickets in a bid to insure themselves against the fare hike for anything between six to 12 months.
Against a normal sale of around 55 half-yearly season tickets in a day, Monday saw a phenomenal 11,172 half yearly season passes being sold. Against some 11-15 yearly season passes that used to be sold in a day earlier, Monday broke all records with a sale of 9,329 yearly season tickets.
“It just goes to show how steep the hike is, that people are willing to pay several thousands rupees to buy a season pass because they will still end up saving money. The hike has been crushing and unprecedented,” said commuter Manish Chaturvedi.
For CR authorities, Tuesday might be another good day at the booking windows. With the fare hike coming into effect by midnight on Monday, officials believe the crowds of season ticket buyers might swell further and the records created on Monday might just get shattered on Tuesday itself.
The number game on Monday:
Monthly season tickets sold: 56,679
Quarterly season ticket: 28,085
Half Yearly: 11,172
Total for the day: 95,385
Earnings: Rs 7.08 crore