Rail travel is set to become dearer in the new year with Indian Railways increasing fares for passenger trains by upto 4 paise per kilometre.
“Ministry of Railways have decided to revise the basic passenger fare... Effective from January 1 2020,” the Railways order read.
While the fares for ordinary non-AC classes will be increase by 1 paisa/km, for mail/Express Non-AC classes the fare will go up by 2 paise/km. For AC classes, the hike will be 4 paisa/km.
There will be no change in the suburban fare and season tickets.
The fare hike will impact long-distance passenger trains, including Rajdhani, Shatabdi, Duronto, Vande Bharat, Tejas, Humsafar, Gatiman and Garib Rath.
However, passengers who have already booked tickets for travel in the coming year, will not be required to pay more during the journey.
“In case of tickets already issued at pre-revised rates, difference of fare on or after January 1, 2020, will not be collected. However, any new tickets made by ticket checking staff in trains or at stations on or after January 1, 2020, will be charged on revised fare,” the order added.
A Ministry official pointed out that the last fare revision in Indian Railways was done in 2014-15.
“Subsequently, there has been a steady up-gradation and expansion of amenities, both off-board and on-board...Further, the burden of 7th Pay Commission on Indian Railway has necessitated rationalization of fares,” the official said.
Further, the official added that in order to expand passenger amenities and facilities at various railway stations and trains, it has become imperative to increase the fare marginally without over burdening any class of passengers.
“Accordingly, Railways has decided to marginally affect an increase in fare only over the non-suburban sections. Keeping the affordability concerns of daily commuters, there shall be no fare hike for passengers over suburban sections and [for] season ticket holders,” the official said, pointing out that this class constitutes 66% of total passenger segment over Indian railways.