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Author Topic: Is there still a case for (morning) 'peak' fares?  (Read 1219 times)
TaplowGreen
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« on: June 26, 2021, 05:34:19 pm »

Edit - split off from long running catering topic

This month's Modern Railways has a GWR (Great Western Railway) supplement - which is worth a read.   In it GWR confirms there are no plans to reintroduce Breakfast Pullmans due to the change in commuter travelling  habits.

If the change in commuter habits is so marked that it removes the justification for a breakfast service, does it also remove the justification for sky high fares at breakfast time?

That's a very good question. I guess it depends to some extent whether the expectation is that those (much fewer) days which involve office attendance still do so on a 9-5 basis, or whether increased flexibility on start/finish times is part of the new world of hybrid working.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2021, 07:08:51 am by grahame » Logged
stuving
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« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2021, 05:42:41 pm »

This month's Modern Railways has a GWR (Great Western Railway) supplement - which is worth a read.   In it GWR confirms there are no plans to reintroduce Breakfast Pullmans due to the change in commuter travelling  habits.

If the change in commuter habits is so marked that it removes the justification for a breakfast service, does it also remove the justification for sky high fares at breakfast time?

That's a very good question. I guess it depends to some extent whether the expectation is that those (much fewer) days which involve office attendance still do so on a 9-5 basis, or whether increased flexibility on start/finish times is part of the new world of hybrid working.

I think this is a much bigger issue, which has been largely missing from the talk about minor tweaks to fares. The odd system we have now - a large peak/off-peak differential (and very large on some routes), which is softened for those travelling to work by substantial season ticket discounts - was driven by the difficulty in coping with the peak demand. Take that factor away, and doesn't the whole reason for pricing tickets like this go away too?
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grahame
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« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2021, 09:59:02 am »

I think this is a much bigger issue, which has been largely missing from the talk about minor tweaks to fares. The odd system we have now - a large peak/off-peak differential (and very large on some routes), which is softened for those travelling to work by substantial season ticket discounts - was driven by the difficulty in coping with the peak demand. Take that factor away, and doesn't the whole reason for pricing tickets like this go away too?

Yes - as part of my FlexiSeason Study ((here))

Melksham to Bristol - 1% (£12.70 v £12.60)
Melksham to Newport - 15% (£24.10 v £20.90)
Melksham to Salisbury - 29% (£19.00 v £14.70)
Melksham to Swindon - 35% (£10.80 v £8.00)
Melksham to Oxford - 216% (£56.80 v £18.00)
... and that Oxford figure is not a unique aberration - similar proportions for Melksham to Didcot, Reading and London.  On Oxford and Didcot, there is no restriction on evening return on the cheaper fare - on Reading and London, there is.

On the routes where the peak premium is under, say, 25% there should be little issue with an anytime fare to simplify the system, positioned towards towards the lower end of the price bracket - say £22.00 to Newport, perhaps £16.00 to Salisbury. At the top of the range, you have a very real issue - even in the Melksham to Oxford fare went to £22.00 anytime, that's still a massive loss of income to the rail industry.

Perhaps pricing is not going to be so much on what the loadings are, but on what people are prepared to pay?
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2021, 11:30:48 am »

A move from fares to prices. Which has been underway for a long time already. Something like airlines, the headline fare will simply be an attention grabber and the actual price paid will depend on the precise train selected, which carriage, luggage, and various extras.
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grahame
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« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2021, 10:50:22 am »

A move from fares to prices. Which has been underway for a long time already. Something like airlines, the headline fare will simply be an attention grabber and the actual price paid will depend on the precise train selected, which carriage, luggage, and various extras.

Like starting with this sort of variance day to day?



£17.99 to £240.00 ... same journey, 5 days apart.   If people have to organise employment journeys not-long-ahead, and budget for them, is this going to be a severe disincentive?
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« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2021, 11:39:25 am »

£17.99 to £240.00 ... same journey, 5 days apart.   If people have to organise employment journeys not-long-ahead, and budget for them, is this going to be a severe disincentive?

£240.99 I think you'll find. Wink  Still, that sounds much more of a bargain than rounding it up to £241.00. Roll Eyes
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2021, 01:20:25 pm »

Yes and yes to both Grahame's questions.
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