Railways to hike passenger fares by 14%, freight up 6.5%

NEW DELHI: With Lok Sabha elections coming to an end, the railways on Friday hiked both passenger fares and freight rates by 14.2% and 6.5%, respectively, effective from 20 May. The move would put an additional burden on train passengers for all classes, said a senior railway ministry official.
While a flat 10% has been announced in all classes, an additional 4.2% increase under a fuel adjustment component (FAC)-linked revision scheme will be effected on passenger fares, taking the upper revision of fares to 14.2%, the official said. The revised fares will also apply to tickets issued in advance for journeys to commence on or after 20 May. The railways have also increased the freight rates with a flat 5% hike and an additional increase of 1.4% on account of the FAC. The overall increase in freight rates will be approximately 6.5% for major commodities, the official added.
The FAC was introduced by the railways about a year back for automatic revision of passenger fares and freight rates corresponding with the revision in fuel price. The railways had earlier increased passenger fare and freight tariff by about 2% from 7 October last year to offset the financial burden arising out of increased input cost. The hike under the FAC was due since April 2014, the official said. Passengers travelling in suburban and non-suburban sections have also been hit as they can only travel 15 times on a monthly season ticket instead of 25 times. Second class monthly season ticket (MST) fares of suburban and non-suburban trains will be charged on the basis of 25 single journeys instead of approximately 15 single journeys, according to the revised fares. There will be no change in charges for reservation fee, super-fast surcharge etc. “Such charges, wherever applicable, shall continue to be levied as per existing instructions,” the official said. In case of tickets already issued at pre-revised rates, the difference in fares and other charges on or after 20 May will be recovered either by TTEs on the trains or by the booking/reservation offices before the commencement of journey by passengers, the official said.