Premium tatkal a hit – Southern Railway
Southern Railway collected Rs. 15.5 crore this year
Despite being priced on a par with an airline ticket, ‘premium tatkal’ tickets have struck a chord with passengers in the State as is evident from the steadily increasing sales. In the first five months (up to May 20) of 2016, more than 1.45 lakh people booked their tickets through premium tatkal, generating revenues of Rs. 15.5 crore for Southern Railway.
“Today, people want to travel somehow and they are quite comfortable with the premium pricing of railways. This facility has received good response since the beginning,” said a railway official who is in charge of passenger marketing in Southern Railway.
“Around 12,102 passengers opted for the service in the State when it was rolled out in October 2014, and the revenue generated was Rs. 1.67 crore. In the next 40 days, the number of passengers travelling under the scheme increased by 82 per cent,” said a senior Southern Railway official. In December 2014, a total of 22,112 passengers commuted with premium tatkal tickets. In April and May 2015 (peak summer months), the demand for premium tatkal tickets surged: in April 2015, there were 54,509 bookings, and in May, the numbers touched 72,632.
An analyst tracking railways said that when this scheme was first introduced, people were worried that train travel could cost as much as flying. But airfares are still higher when compared to premium tatkal tickets. For instance, if one were to book a premium tatkal ticket from Chennai to Madurai a day before the journey, she would have to spend anywhere between Rs. 3,400 and Rs, 4,000. However, air travel would cost double (Rs. 5,000 to Rs. 9,000), if the booking is done at the eleventh hour.
Currently, eight trains in Tamil Nadu have premium tatkal facility.
“As per guidelines, after booking of the first 50 per cent of the tatkal quota, the remaining is classified as premium tatkal and sold on the basis of dynamic pricing,” the Southern Railway official said.
Source : http://www.thehindu.com/