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Vikash Sharma

New Delhi: Good news for train passengers as Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on Wednesday said that presently there is no proposal to discontinue the flexi fare scheme. At present, flexi fare is applicable to only 141 out of 13,452 trains and railways has not lost traffic to other mode of transport like airlines.

Goyal also said in Lok Sabha that alternative train services on normal fare structure are available on routes of Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Duronto trains.

The Railway Minister further informed that the average occupancy of all reserved accommodation including routes of flexi fare trains was 101.15% during 2015-2016 (non-flexi period). The figure has gone up to 105.80% in 2017-18 (flexi fare period).

"Flexi fare is applicable to only 141 number of trains out of 13,452 trains as on date and in only AC 2 Tier, AC 3 Tier, AC chair car, sleeper and second class (reserved). Out of these 141 trains, flexi fare is applicable in 32 trains for nine months only," he said during Question Hour.

The minister said railways and airlines are different modes of transport, which are not comparable in terms of volume, connectivity as well as convenience.

"Overall there has been no loss of traffic by Indian Railways to other mode of transport like airlines," he said.

Goyal said there is no fixed maximum limit of fare in airlines whereas railways have fixed maximum fare throughout the year.

He said airline fare varies significantly depending on time of operation, stoppages, travel duration, origin destination pair, carrier etc. Railways' fare may or may not be higher than air fare depending upon class of travel as well as factors like peak or lean periods.

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