Even as Shatabdi Express continues to ply with 400-450 vacant seats (50-60% of total capacity of around 700), passengers are still paying between Rs 900 and Rs 950 due to the policy of flexi-fare that was implemented two months ago. The normal fare — it is now charged on just first 10% of the seats that comes to around 70 — is Rs 605 of which Rs 197 is covered by taxes. Some service charges are also accrued due to the booking charges on the internet.
The flexi-fare system for premier trains came into effect from September 9. This entails that base fare will increase by 10% with every 10% of berths sold, but there will be an upper limit.
For Chandigarh-New Delhi Shatabdi (12046), which departs at noon, passengers paid approximately Rs 765 on Tuesday.
Ruchika Singh, a resident of Sector 33, said, “Paying more even as seats are going vacant seems a concept that is counter to common sense and basic economics. Another passenger Vishal Thakur said, “Traffic has been hit. It is unheard of that 300 seats remain available during festive season.”