New Delhi, Oct 19: Taking a cue from airlines, railways today said it is considering introduction of “dynamic” passenger fares, which is elastic and based on demand, in the backdrop of the national transporter's dwindling financial health.
“We are looking at various avenues, including dynamic pricing policy, for passenger fare. We have done it in freight,” Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi said while addressing Economic Editors' conference here.
Under the dynamic fare system, ticket prices go up when the demand goes up and vice versa.
He said railways is considering many options in order to ensure the financial health of the organisation.
Railways increased freight charges by six per cent on October 15 under dynamic freight policy.
Hinting at a possible passenger hike in near future, he said “We have done it in freight three days back and it has not hurt anybody. So, we will do it (passenger fare hike) intelligently.
Passenger fares have not been touched for the last eight years in railways.
To persistent queries as to when the passenger fare hike will take place, Trivedi said “we are seized with the matter and applying our minds everywhere. It cannot be done unscientifically. It has to be logical.”
He said even railway unions, consultative committee members are also asking for a hike in passenger fare.
However, he said nothing would be done to hurt the poorest section of the society.
“Before doing anything, we have to ensure improvement in services like hygiene, safety, punctuality and quality of food.”