With 14% increase in railway fare, 6.5% rise in freight rates, suburban travel gets dearer

Saturday, 21 June 2014 - 9:20am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA
A Churchgate-Borivli second class season pass would rise from Rs 190 to Rs 480. A first-class pass on the same route would go up from Rs 655 to Rs 1,310.

Mumbai, predominantly a season-pass city, is the worst hit by the rail fare hike that comes into effect from June 25. Of the estimated 75 lakh daily suburban commuters, more than 70% travel on season tickets.

The rail ministry has tweaked the formula by which season ticket rates are calculated. The first tweak is that monthly second class season ticket fares for suburban and non-suburban services shall be charged on the basis of 30 single journeys instead of the current 15 single journeys.  This, in effect, doubles your season ticket fare. The second change is that first class monthly season tickets will be four times higher than their second class counterparts.

Quarterly, half yearly and yearly season passes would also go up.  Tentative fares for the suburban system show that both first and second class card (single journey) ticket fares will increase between Rs 5 to Rs 20 in most cases. The rise in season tickets is substantial.

A Churchgate-Borivli second class season pass would rise from Rs 190 to Rs 480. A first-class pass on the same route would go up from Rs 655 to Rs 1,310.  dna, in its June 19 edition, had reported how railway officials were blaming season pass calculations  for the heavy losses suffered by the suburban system. 

As far as long-distance trains are concerned, until new tickets are printed and made available, existing tickets with alterations in fares on them would be issued. In case of tickets already issued at pre-revised rates, the difference in fares and other charges on or after will be recovered. 

On Central Railway, a second class season pass between CST-Thane could go up from Rs 160 now to Rs 300 while the first class season pass rates would go up from Rs 570 now to around Rs 1,200. A second class season pass between CST-Kalyan would go up from Rs 235 now to Rs 450. The first class season pass for CST-Kalyan would rise from Rs 770 to Rs 1,800. These calculations by CR officials however do not include charges like Mumbai Urban Transport Project and CIDCO surcharges. 

Hike as per Planning commission recommendations
The Narendra Modi government has gone and done what previous governments shied away from: hiking railway passenger and freight rates as per Planning Commission recommendations. This is one of the tough measures that Modi warned the people to be prepared for. Political pundits are surprised that Modi chose to announce the hikes just weeks before the railway and general budgets. Passenger fares have been hiked by 14.2% and freight rates by 6.5% with immediate effect. The railway hopes to increase revenue by at least Rs 8,000 crore with these hikes. Read more


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