The South Western Railway (SWR) has slashed fares of air-conditioned (AC) coaches in five express trains originating from Bengaluru, Gadag and Mysuru in Karnataka. The move aims to encourage more passengers to travel in AC chair car and sleeper coaches.

“By reducing AC chair car fare in Shatabdi Express between Mysuru and Chennai via Bengaluru, we got more number of passengers travel in the superfast train than bus or flight”, an SWR spokesperson told IANS.

The fares for premier Shatabdi Express were reduced earlier, which had resulted in higher occupancy, according to railway officials. Buoyed by the response, the zonal railway has brought down the AC fare in Bengaluru’s Yesvantpur-Hubballi weekly express from Rs 735 to Rs 590.

“The response was encouraging when we introduced the lower fare in the weekly express for the first time a week ago (August 4),” the official told IANS.

With effect from November, the AC fare for Gadag-Mumbai express will be down to Rs 435 from Rs 495 — for distance up to Solapur in western Maharashtra after Kalburagi in northwest Karnataka.

From December 3, people will have to pay Rs 260 instead of Rs 495 to travel between Mysuru and Bengaluru in AC coaches of the Mysuru-Shirdi weekly.

And from November 30, travelling between Bengaluru and Hubballi in the Third AC coaches of Yesvantpur-Bikaner Express will cost Rs 590 instead of Rs 735.

The Third AC fare will be lower — from Rs 345 to Rs 305 — for Yesvantpur-Secunderabad Express too from November 22.

According to SWR officials, the reduction in fares is part of the dynamic fare fixing based on traffic pattern than on demand-supply ratio.

SWR had last year reduced Bengaluru-Mysuru section fares for Shatabdi since most passengers board from Bengaluru station or alight there. It was the first such experiment in Railways to decide fares based on traffic pattern.

The Railway Board is learnt to have asked other zonal railways to adopt the SWR dynamic fare fixing on passenger traffic model in select trains so that more people start travelling in trains.

(With IANS)