In his Railway Budget 2008-09 speech, Mr Prasad said that while the number of free monthly season tickets for students had been increased, fares had been reduced for women senior citizens and AIDS-affected people. Presently free monthly season tickets for second class travel between school and residence is provided to girl students upto the 12th standard and boys upto the tenth standard. It has now been decided to extend this facility to girl students upto graduation and for boys upto the 12th standard, he said.
The concession for all classes for women senior citizens (above 60 years) has been increased from the present 30 per cent to 50 percent.
Ashok Chakra winners will also now be entitled to card pass travel in Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains. This facility was previously meant only for winners of Param Vir Chakra, Mahavir Chakra and Vir Chakra in AC II alongwith a companion.
The Budget also provides for a 50 per cent concession in second class travel for AIDS patients for travel to nominated ART centres for treatment.
The Railways is already running the Red Ribbon Express in collaboration with the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO).
In addition, the Railways, alongwith the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, also proposes to run a Mother and Child Express as a pilot project to provide medical facilities on a concessional basis.