The Indian Railways is reviewing the fares of some short-distance Vande Bharat trains with low occupancy to reduce prices and make them more viable for people.
Vande Bharat trains like the Indore-Bhopal, the Bhopal-Jabalpur and the Nagpur-Bilaspur express, along with some others are likely to fall in this category.
While the Bhopal-Jabalpur Vande Bharat service recorded 29 per cent occupancy, the Indore-Bhopal Vande Bharat Express had only 21 per cent occupancy. The journey costs Rs 950 for an AC Chair car ticket and Rs 1,525 for an Executive Chair Car ticket.
After the Railways review, the fare of this Vande Bharat service could be reduced significantly to ensure that more people use the train service.
Another train whose fares are under review is the Nagpur-Bilaspur Vande Bharat Express which has an average occupancy of around 55 per cent. With a travel time of around 5 hour 30 minutes, the general belief is that it would do much better if the prices were brought down.
The fare for the executive class from Nagpur-Bilaspur Vande Bharat Express is Rs 2,045 while that of the Chair Car is Rs 1,075. This train was replaced by the Tejas Express in May due to low occupancy.
The Bhopal-Jabalpur Vande Bharat Express which has clocked 32 per cent occupancy while the return journey on Jabalpur-Bhopal Vande Bharat service has shown 36 per cent occupancy is also likely to see a fare reduction.
So far, 46 Vande Bharat Express services have reached all rail-electrified states of the country. The Vande Bharat trains with top occupancy include the Kasaragod to Trivandrum train (183 per cent), Trivandrum to Kasaragod Vande Bharat train (176 per cent), the Gandhinagar-Mumbai Central Vande Bharat Express (134 per cent), among others.
It is to be noted that, except a few, most of the semi-high speed trains run with full occupancy.