In East Bohemia, an increase in long-distance bus fares is anticipated with the introduction of a new timetable from December 10th. The changes come under the shared OREDO system operating in the Pardubice and Hradec Králové regions. The fare increase will primarily affect passengers making one-time cash payments and regular payments with a standard payment card. However, the fares will remain unchanged for regular passengers with IREDO cards.
“The tariff changes are the first in two years, during which time costs have dramatically risen across the board – including fuel, personnel expenses, repairs, and other services,” says Michal Kortyš, Deputy Mayor for Transport. The average increase in prices is around 8.5 percent. For context, the basic tariff is an increase of 2 crowns.
The price of a network ticket for individuals also rose from 160 to 200 crowns. A five-person network ticket will now cost 500 crowns, up from the current 350 crowns. However, there’s some good news for pet owners. Bus fare for dogs has been reduced to a quarter of the standard fare, down from half. But the network ticket for dogs has increased from thirty to fifty crowns, which is a quarter of the price for an individual. The price of individual tickets purchased from the contactless chip card IREDO and multi-day tickets remains unchanged.
Apart from the price hike, both regions attempt to implement new measures to improve travel. “The goal is to speed up boarding when getting on the bus. Students and pupils mostly buy weekly tickets in cash, which causes problems, especially on Mondays,” explains Kortyš. Overall, cash payments account for 80 percent of ticket sales. Additionally, the often poor availability of mobile signals for standard card payments leads to bus delays.
To mitigate these issues, an agreement with transport companies is in place to move to offline payments. A new application is expected to help reduce the number of cash payments and weekly ticket purchases from the driver. The e-shop is already available for use.