TAMIL NADU

Railways makes SOFT more attractive

CHANGE IN THE AIR: An inside view of the Garib Rath (weekly) Super Fast Express train between Chennai Central and Hazrat Nizamuddin in Chennai.

CHANGE IN THE AIR: An inside view of the Garib Rath (weekly) Super Fast Express train between Chennai Central and Hazrat Nizamuddin in Chennai.  

S. Vijay Kumar



Steps have been taken to popularise the

money-back scheme



MADURAI: In a bid to woo passengers travelling in air-conditioned coaches, the Ministry of Railways has made the Scheme for Frequent Travellers (SOFT) more attractive.

Taking a cue from the airline industry, the Railways has introduced the loyalty programme that will allow a passenger travelling in air-conditioned coaches to accumulate points, and redeem them for complimentary tickets. Launched in 2006, the scheme has not evoked the desired patronage outside metros.

Going by the scheme, the Indian Railway Tourism and Catering Corporation (IRCTC) will issue SOFT cards in association with banks to registered passengers, who can accrue points equal to 10 per cent (off-peak) and 4 per cent (peak) of the money spent on travel in First, Second and Chair Car AC coaches. Points accumulated over and above the minimum balance of 500 can be exchanged in the form of free tickets in all classes.

As an added feature, SOFT cardholders have been authorised to enter railway stations without platform tickets any number of times.

Also, they will be eligible to book 10 tickets per month through the Internet as against five for others. Steps had been taken to popularise the money-back scheme, railway officials said.

“If a passenger travels between Madurai and Chennai in AC two-tier twice a month, he will gain 1,125 points in a year (equivalent to Rs.1,125), which can be exchanged for tickets. The points will be valid for two years,” Additional Divisional Railway Manager M. Suyambulingam said.Applications to join SOFT can be downloaded from ‘ >www.irctc.co.in.’



Steps have been taken to popularise the

money-back scheme





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