You will soon have to pay up to Rs. 6 more for your daily suburban train commute, according to calculations made by railway officials after receiving the basic fare chart from the railway board on Tuesday.
Rough estimates formed by the Central and Western Railway officials show that the second-class one-way commute is going to going up by Rs. 1 to Rs. 6, while first-class travel will go up by up to Rs. 5.
Also, the minimum-distance fare has increased from the current Rs.4 to Rs.5.
For example, for a second-class journey from CST to Dombivli the fare will increase from Rs.14 to Rs.20.
Similarly, WR commuters will have to shell out Rs. 20 instead of the present Rs16 for the journey from Churchgate to Virar. However, first-class fares remain unchanged on various routes.
Railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal had last week announced a hike of 2 paise per km for suburban second-class travel and 3 paise per km for first-class travel.
However, the rounding off factor has somewhat softened the blow. “The eventual hike is not much in many cases, owing to the rounding off factor,” said senior railway officials.
However, this rounding off formula has invited strong opposition from passenger bodies, commuter activists and political parties.
“If the Central finance ministry is still rounding off figures to the nearest rupee, the railways should explain their decision to do so in multiples of 5,” said DC Godbole, activist, Suburban Rail Pravasi Mahasangh.
Railway sources maintained that the rounding off factor will benefit suburban commuters in certain distance slabs. Even first-class fares remain unchanged on several routes, as per the Railway estimates.
Bansal had also announced that they would do away with the development surcharge on railway tickets. However, the chart shows the surcharge has not been abolished.
“It has been merged with the basic fare,” said a railway official. The fare hike will come into effect on January 22.