Last year, almost 36 million passengers were transported by regional buses of the Prešov and Košice self-governing regions, which represents a slight increase compared to 2022. The tact transport is one the elements that contributed to this increase.

The introduction of tact transport in the east of Slovakia increased the number of passengers on regional buses. In 2023, a total of 35,932,354 passengers traveled by regional transport buses. This was also positively influenced by the integrated time schedule, when trains left the stops at regular intervals, for example every 60 minutes.

On the lines where such systemic changes took place, the number of passengers increased by an average of 5%. On the contrary, on lines where system changes have not yet been implemented, there was a decrease of 4%, which corresponds to the long-term trend of the outflow of passengers from bus to individual transport. These are lines where the quality of public passenger transport has stagnated for a long time.

“The increased number of passengers in public transport on selected lines proves that passengers appreciated the clarity of the new transport service system. In the case of bus routes, where there were such systemic adjustments to the timetables, we also recorded an almost 40% increase in the number of passengers. It is a huge difference compared to the lines where the changes have not yet occurred. New, clearer timetables, regular service intervals and departures from stops contribute to the popularity of bus transport. Since we want to strengthen this trend, we are also preparing system changes for other bus lines,” said the president of the Prešov Self-Governing Region (PSK) Milan Majerský.

The tact transport system was introduced mainly on lines in the region around Poprad, Kežmarok and Levoča. The introduction of system changes had a positive impact in the Prešov Region, for example, on the Lendak – Kežmarok – Tatranská Lomnica – Starý Smokovec line, where the number of passengers increased by 38.2%. In the Košice region, the largest increase in the number of passengers was on the line Spišská Nová Ves – Baldovce – Spišské Podhradie – Ordzovany – Bijakovce, where the number of passengers increased by 66%.

In 2023, passengers entitled to discounts were added to regional bus transport. “I am very glad that residents of eastern Slovakia are showing increased interest in more ecological forms of travel. Last year, we recorded a record increase in the use of special fares for pregnant women and weekend fares for families with children. Bus transport was also used by older age groups. The introduction of discounted travel fares for seniors aged 63 and over, which we initiated in February of last year, has been very successful. It was used by 2,418,052 passengers. We are trying to make public transport attractive, so we believe that the interest of passengers will increase even more,” said the president of the Košice self-governing region (KSK), Rastislav Trnka.

Last year, a total of 35,932,354 passengers were transported in regional transport in the East, which is a slight increase compared to the year before. 11,618 pregnant women used the special fare, which represents a 131% increase compared to the previous year. Last year, families with children also traveled during the holidays for only 1 euro per person thanks to the weekend fare. 26,081 passengers used this discount, which represents an increase of 107% compared to 2022.

In the east of Slovakia last year, up to 87% of passengers traveled the most in tariff zones up to 25 km. In 2023, the largest number of transported passengers in KSK was on the line Košice – Valaliky – Čaňa – Gyňov / Skároš / Trstené pri Hornáde, with 651,633 tickets sold. In PSK, the most used line was Poprad – Spišská Stará Ves – Červený Kláštor – Veľká Lesná, with 519,800 transported passengers.

Passengers are increasingly using the benefits of paying with a transport card. While 66% of passengers used this option in 2022, in 2023 it was up to 73%. The advantage of transport cards is faster processing compared to paying in cash, as the driver does not have to handle coins, and tickets are also cheaper when paying with a transport card.

Press release: PSK, KSK, IDS Východ
Photo: shutterstock