BENGALURU: Last year, the AC coaches on some trains plying between Bengaluru and Mysuru used to run almost empty. Now, thanks to some clever thinking and tweaks, occupancy rate in AC coaches on trains plying on the route has zoomed. All that was done was modification of AC 3-tier coach into an AC Chair Car coach and reduction of fare.
The overall occupancy rate on the five pairs of Express trains has now more than doubled, from 30% to 70%. In some trains, like Hampi Express for instance, the number of passengers shot up by 10 times, from 10 passengers daily last April-July to 102, this year in the corresponding period.
As for revenue, one train saw earnings shoot up by 6 times owing to the modifications. This has prompted the Railway Board to issue a directive to other divisions across the country to consider replicating this model.
The five Express trains running between the twin cities are Mayiladuthurai Express, Kaveri Express, Hampi Express, Tuticorin Express and Golgumbaz Express. An AC 3-tier ticket between the twin cities costs Rs 465 and each train used to have two such coaches. “There was very poor occupancy for the 128 seats available in both coaches in all five trains plying in this route. Even the occupancy figure of 30% in 3-tier came because of the peak rush during the Dasara season which balanced the single figure occupancy on some days,” said a a senior railway official of the Bengaluru Railway Division.
Without any additional cost incurred, the Division just slashed the fares to Rs 260 in one coach of each of the trains and billed them as Chair Cars. “The move really paid off and it has boosted our earnings along this sector. More importantly, the trains are running with good occupancy,” the official said. The KSRTC Airavat AC bus fare is `299 between the cities. The pragmatic move of the commercial department officials, benefiting both the Railways and the passengers, was taken note of by the top bosses in Delhi. Railway Board officials have decided to adopt this model on routes, where similar low occupancy and losses are being reported.
SMALL MOVE, BIG GAINS
B’luru Rly Division changed one of two AC 3-tier coaches in 5 trains into AC Chair Cars
Halved fare from Rs 465 to Rs 260 for Chair Car
Average occupancy for all trains shot up from 30% to 70%
Hampi Express saw jump in quarter-wise revenue from Rs 1.3 lakh to Rs 8.3 lakh