The sale of season passes on both Western and Central Railway crossed the daily average figures as people flocked to the ticket counters to buy and renew their season passes before the fare hike comes into effect on June 25. Officials said they expect this spike in sales to continue as people will try to save some money at least for a month because the hike is extremely steep this time around.
On Western Railway, a total of 42,000 passes were sold on Saturday. This is much more than the daily average of 40,500 passes, said WR officials. In fact on June 21 last year, the number of passes sold stood at 38,000. The money earned from these passes stood at Rs1.85 crores, whereas on the same day last year, the earnings was Rss94 lakhs.
On CR, against a daily average of 39,246 passes being sold in May, Saturday saw the number rise to 43,431 passes. A trend the railway officials noted was an increase in sale of half-yearly and yearly season passes. Against a daily average of 55 half-yearly and 11 yearly season first class passes sold in May, the numbers shot up to 201 half-yearly and 189 yearly season first class passes on Saturday.
The railway ministry on Sunday made things easier for itself and for Mumbaikars by announcing that people can buy and renew their passes til June 24 at current rates, leaving it unspoken that there would be no recovering of the fare difference after June 25.
As reported by dna in its June 22 edition, the railway rules permit ticket-checkers to collect the difference in fare- after a fare hike- from passengers once the new rates come into effect. While this is regularly done in long-distance trains, officials had said that replicating it on the suburban system would have been a nightmare.
"A big factor is the calculation of the fare difference. In the long-distance train scenario, you travel on a journey just once so the fare difference is easy to calculate. However that is not the case with the suburban commute. It would have been a complex issue if one has to subtract the number of journeys you have made on the pass before the fare hike came into place," said an official.
Passes sold on June 21, 2014-- 42,000
Passes sold on June 21, 2013-- 38,000
Daily average passes sold on WR-- 40,500
Passes sold on June 21-- 43,431
Daily average in May- 39,246
First class Half Yearly season pass sold on June 21--201
First class yearly season pass sold on June 21- 189