The decision to charge full fare for children aged 5 to 12 for a separate seat or berth has significantly boosted Indian Railways’ revenue. This change has brought in more than Rs 2,800 crore in additional earnings over the last 7 years. Previously, children in this age group were provided separate seats at half the fare.
Indian Railways’ Revenue Surge
The rule alteration, implemented by the Ministry of Railways on April 21, 2016, led to a surge in earnings, with Rs 560 crore generated in the fiscal year 2022-23 alone. The data, obtained through a Right to Information (RTI) request to the Center for Railway Information Systems (CRIS), reveals that more than 10 crore children have opted for separate berths or seats and paid the full fare, while over 3.6 crore children traveled by paying half fare without selecting the reserved seat or berth option.
Indian Railways has also introduced a new facility of providing extra seats for children, referred to as baby seats, to enhance the travel experience for families with young children. Children below 5 years of age can travel without a ticket, and parents can decline requests for tickets or charges for small children as per railway rules.