3 thoughts on “The case for a new ‘Economy Class’ in rail tickets”

  1. Posted 03/01/2019 at 10:33 | Permalink

    At first sight, this makes sense although it’s probably politically unacceptable: what next, people hanging on the outside, as in India? However, consider my daily commute. I board a train 30 minutes out of Manchester. It usually has three carriages and I get a seat – requires some rudeness on occasion. If there are only two carriages, I don’t bother getting on. If I don’t get a seat, I get off and wait for another train. I refuse to stand for 30 minutes. The train makes just one more stop, 15 minutes out of Manchester. The vast majority of those boarding stand in the aisle. Under your scheme, there would likely be only two seating carriages – for me, a disaster. If there were still three, the net change would be that those standing in the aisle for 15 minutes would still be standing, perhaps more comfortably, and would deservedly be paying 20% less for doing exactly what they had previously.

  2. Posted 04/01/2019 at 10:08 | Permalink

    Interesting and fair point Jonathan. In your situation the solution is really to add carriages (in which case I presume with existing train sets of only two/three carriages, there would be no need to invest in platform lengthening). The blog was focussed on the London problem where most suburban peak-hour services have nine or more carriages.

  3. Posted 04/01/2019 at 20:13 | Permalink

    interestingly, I have only been around Manchester once at commuter time and it struck me as being absolutely abysmal (far worse than London). And the trains were short. I don’t know why that should be except, of course, price control means that a quasi monopolist adjusts quality down also. I must admit, I thought that sort of thing was dealt with in the franchise bidding. Are Manchester local services part of that or are they run by the local authority?

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