Recommendations on integrating the ticket and tariff systems of Hungaryʼs state-owned railway and bus companies will be ready by next year, the chairman-CEO of railway company MÁV said in an interview with Hungarian state news agency MTI.
The broad package of recommendations is expected to be finished by 2021, and can be implemented after the governmentʼs approval, Róbert Homolya told MTI. He added that the steps to create a unified timetable for all rail and bus services would be a longer process.
"Finding all synergies and eliminating all overlap is a matter of years," he said.
MÁV took over state-owned bus company Volanbusz effective July 15 with the aim of streamlining and improving passenger services.
Homolya stressed the importance of identifying synergies that can boost efficiency and make a noticeable difference to passengers. The results of efforts to set up a unified sales platform for tickets and passes will be seen already this year, he added.
He said that at present some commuters who work in Budapest must travel by rail, suburban rail and bus to reach their workplaces, requiring three separate passes.
"That does not benefit public transport," he said.
He noted that countries in Western Europe had integrated their rail and bus services decades earlier. Austria merged its rail and bus services twelve years ago, making it much easier for passengers to use the timetable and to buy tickets and passes, he said.
MÁV serves about 140 million passengers a year and Volánbusz more than 400 million. Together, the companies employ over 55,000 people.