Pay fare difference, upgrade from 1st class to the AC train
While pass holders can pay the fare difference at the ticket-booking counters, single ticket holders can pay it on the train itselfUpdated: Jan 21, 2018 08:48 IST
Train commuters in Mumbai with first-class tickets and monthly passes can now travel in the air-conditioned (AC) train by paying the fare difference.
The Railway Board, the policy-making body of the Indian Railways, issued a circular to the effect on Friday. The decision comes into effect immediately.
The AC local train operates between Churchgate and Virar five days a week. It’s not operational on the weekend for maintenance work.
The minimum fare does not change for the first 10km, and the initial minimum fare for the first six months for a single journey ticket is Rs60, and later will be Rs65. The maximum fare for the first six months is Rs205; after six months, this will rise to Rs220.
For the first six months, the minimum weekly pass for the AC train is Rs285; the fortnightly pass is Rs430; and the monthly pass is Rs570
The maximum weekly and fortnightly fare is Rs1,070 and Rs1,555, respectively. The monthly pass for the entire 60-km stretch between Churchgate and Virar is Rs2,040.
Last month, the railways launched its first suburban AC local on Mumbai’s western line. Since then, passengers have been demanding that those with first-class tickets and passes be allowed to travel on the AC local by paying the fare difference rather than being forced to wait for their pass to expire.
As per the circular, first-class pass holders will have to pay the difference between the first-class monthly pass and AC-monthly pass for the entire month, irrespective of the number of days left for expiry of the pass. However, the validity of the monthly pass will remain unchanged and reflect the date of the earlier pass.
Railway officials are sceptical about commuter response because of these restrictions.
Pass holders can pay the fare difference at the ticket-booking counters at railway stations. The Board has asked the Centre for Railway Information Systems to make the required changes in the ticketing software to permit this.
The circular has specified that first-class single ticket holders can also travel on the AC local by paying the difference. This facility will be available up to June 28, the date till the discount fare for the AC local is applicable.
Unlike monthly first-class pass holders, first-class single ticket holders can pay the difference on board the AC train. “The TTE (Train Ticket Examiner) will collect the fare difference without any penalty,” the circular said.
Railway officials said they have been asked to depute sufficient number of TTEs on the AC local for passengers’ convenience.
Ravinder Bhakar, chief spokesperson, Western Railway, said that the facility of traveling in AC local by paying difference between first-class ticket and AC ticket is not applicable for return journey. Also, first-class monthly pass holders will not be able to buy single-journey ticket of AC local by paying the difference.