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RAJA Rail Transportation Company has resumed the sale of tickets to passengers.
In order to prevent the transmission of the novel coronavirus and observe health protocols, each wagon will accommodate only two passengers, or the members of a single family, the deputy head of the company said on Tuesday.
“This distancing scheme will be automatically applied when purchasing tickets and no extra fee is charged for the empty seats,” Reza Asari was quoted as saying by IRNA.
All trains, said the official, are disinfected regularly.
Due to the COVID 19 outbreak, RAJA had stopped providing services to passengers.
More information on RAJA’s train timetable and new scheme can be gained through the hotline 1539.
RAJA was established in November 1996 as an affiliate of the Islamic Republic of Iran Railways with the aim of improving the quality and scope of railroad passenger services. It was transferred to the Tourism Holding of Social Security Organization (better known by its Persian acronym HEGTA) in March 2010 as part of IRIR’s outstanding debt to the organization.
“Passenger and freight rail transport could suffer losses estimated at 5,050 billion rials [32.1 million] and 1,000 billion rials [$6.3 million] by June 20 due to the spread of coronavirus,” Mehrdad Taqizadeh, the secretary of Iran’s Guild of Rail Transport Companies said recently.
Noting that the number of rail passengers fell by 94% during the Iranian New Year holidays (March 20-April 3) compared with last year’s similar period, the official said, “A total of 300,000 tickets were cancelled and 910 billion rials [$5.8 million] were paid back to people following the disease outbreak,” he was quoted as saying by Fars News Agency.
Taqizadeh noted that his guild will seek a 2,000-billion-rial ($12.7 million) bailout and loans with an interest rate of 4% for rail companies in a letter to the government.
Latest data show the Iranian rail network transported 27.96 million passengers in the fiscal 2018-19. Between 2013 and 2017, rail ridership averaged out at 24 million from the 28 million-odd in the early 2010s.
“It was only after airfare hikes in that year that a number of passengers shifted to rail transportation services,” said Mohsen Sadeqi, a civil engineer in charge of the Economic Evaluation Office at the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development.
This article first appeared on financialtribune.com
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