Why internet train ticket sale will save money to Indian Railways
For operating a ticketing counter Indian Railways ( IR ) incurs at least the following costs :-
1 Salary and allowances of the ticketing staff
2 Rent of the building / incase building belongs to IR, opportunity cost of the building
3 Air conditioning of the booking office
4 Computer stationery / running / maintenance costs
5 Cleaning / housekeeping / maintenance costs of Railway booking office
6 Costs & risks of transferring booking office cash to Banks / other railway locations
7 Cost of booking office record keeping & cash reconciliation
8 Depreciation of building, computers, furniture & fittings
9 Interest on building, computers, Ac’s, furniture & fittings ( in short all Railway booking office assts ) in case IR borrows on interest (Indian Railway Finance Corporation Ltd.- IRFC borrows on interest for IR )
For every ticket sold on the internet IR saves the above 9 costs.
However today ticket booking on internet costs more than buying it from IR counter.
A chair car ticket Nasik Road-NK to Mumbai-CSTM) on 12110 Panchwati Exp costs Rs 352 on counter.
The same ticket costs Rs 352+13+22 = Rs 387 if I buy it on internet.
This way IR charges extra on internet where it is saving 9 costs listed above.
It is clear from above that IR should charge less if passenger buys ticket on internet saving IR the above costs, or IR can share benefit of the saving with the passenger.
I am not suggesting laying off of existing staff , they can be utilized in other functions (Over 2.25 lakh posts lying vacant in railways- Times of India – 8th Sept 2014)