Commuters are left with no choice but to book tickets at premium rates that even go past Rs 1,000 after the flexi-fare system for premier trains, including the Shatabdi Express, came into effect from September 9 onwards. The new pricing system is applicable only on chair car category seats in the Shatabdi.
In the last one week, from September 10 to September 17, the average price of a one-way ticket for the Kalka Shatabdi (6.53am departure from Chandigarh) was between Rs 750 and Rs 850 and even went up to Rs 900. Before the new system came into effect, the same ticket cost Rs 620. While the tickets for the Chandigarh-New Delhi Shatabdi (departure at noon) sold anywhere between Rs 880 and Rs 1,110, the Kalka-New Delhi Shatabdi (6.23pm departure from Chandigarh) sold between Rs 990 and Rs 1,051 in the last five days.
Be it professionals, students or government employees, the new rates are heavy on all their pockets. A software engineer, Arindam Roy, said, “One cannot plan an instant trip as the ticket will be highly-priced. And for a distance such as that between Chandigarh and Delhi, one rarely plans for months.
A government employee, Rashmi Sharma, said, “The government should not put everyone in one slab. People who come under low income group should be given concession.”