Train travellers feel Tatkal fares have become ‘excessive’

Mamuni Das New Delhi | Updated on November 22, 2018

Tatkal charges are extra charges levied for last minute booking by train passengers and form a part of dynamic charges in a ticket

A poll by a citizen interaction platform also finds cleanliness on trains and at stations has improved in last 12 months

An AC 3-Tier train ticket on the Delhi-Mumbai Rajdhani, under the Tatkal quota, is priced at around ₹2,900, where about a third — over ₹800 or 28 per cent — is charged as “dynamic pricing”. It is such high pricing that majority of people probably referred to when they voted in LocalCircles’ citizens poll.

Tatkal charges are extra charges levied for last minute booking by train passengers and form a part of dynamic charges in a ticket.

Tatkal fares have become “excessive”, said almost three-fourth (74 per cent) of the 8,165 people who answered a query on their experience with Tatkal ticket fares on LocalCircles, a citizen interaction platform. Almost one-fifth polled found the charges “reasonable”. Five per cent even found the charges “quite low”.

Almost 80 per cent of people found the ticket cancellation charges high, and desired that such charges on Tatkal tickets be lowered. For seven questions, LocalCircles received votes from over 27,000 participants from over 200 districts. “Railway travellers from Vadodara to Bhubaneswar and from Jammu Tavi to Tirunelveli participated in this survey,” said Sachin Taparia, Founder, LocalCircles.

Almost half of the people who voted were from tier-1 cities, 30 per cent from tier-2 cities and 22 per cent from tier-3 and rural locations. Almost 40 per cent of people who participated in the poll were females.

Cleanliness perception up

From the 7,739 people who voted on the question “how has cleanliness of trains and railway stations improved in last 12 months”, about four-fifth felt there was an improvement. Specifically, 39 per cent felt there was marginal improvement, 38 per cent voted for “significant improvement”. Over a fifth (23 per cent) of train customers felt there was no improvement, including five per cent who felt the cleanliness of trains and stations have worsened.

Food in trains

Almost 46 per cent of 8,000-odd people found the food served in trains edible though not delicious, while four per cent found the food catered delicious. 31 per cent said the food was unhygienic or inedible, while 19 per cent were “unsure” about judging the quality of food.

On punctuality of trains, 66 per cent of 8,122 people who took the poll during the last 12 months said the trains were delayed by upto one hour.

There is scope to make the India Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Web site more consumer-oriented and scope to improve food hygiene standards.

Published on November 21, 2018

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