New off-peak fares pilot to benefit Fife train commuters
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The six-month trial gets underway from Monday, October 2 when passengers can travel all day on off-peak fares until the end of March 2024.
It is funded by the Scottish Government in a bid to encourage people to travel by rail instead of car,.
Ticket prices between Edinburgh and Glasgow will come down from £28.90 to £14.90, while Inverkeithing to the capital will cost £6.50 rather than £11.10. A Perth- Dundee goes from £14.40 to £9.90. There are some routes where no off-peak fare exists because the same price is available at any time of the day, and as such, customers will not see any change.
The rail network saw a massive drop in the numbers of commuters during the traditional peak times as people stayed at home. They are still only 70 per cent back to what they once were.
ScotRail expects that some trains will be busier and will be monitoring services daily. The rail operator will be communicating with customers throughout the trial to let them know the best way to make their journey.
Alex Hynes, managing director, said: “This is a hugely exciting opportunity for Scotland’s railway to encourage more people across the country to choose rail travel instead of using the car.
“We are working hard to make sure that this six-month trial will be a success, and we will be monitoring our services and stations daily to see where we have any significant increases in customer journeys.”
Claire Baker, MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife said: “After all the confusion from the Scottish Government over how and when this pilot would run it is welcome that we now have a date set for it to begin. I also welcome that the scheme will cover Mid Scotland and Fife rail routes and include both morning and evening peak periods.
“However, this year we have already seen rail fares increase by almost 5%, despite ongoing problems with delays and overcrowding, and any reduction in cost for rail travel needs to be longer term if it is to encourage more people to use trains. I look forward to hearing more about how the pilot scheme will be evaluated and used to create a long-term plan that makes rail travel more affordable and a viable alternative to car use.”