Demand for Regional Bus Transport Down by 45 percent in 2006-12

(Stock photo by TASR)

Bratislava, August 1 (TASR) – Slovakia’s economic growth over the past decade has led to a steep increase in the number of cars owned by private individuals, at the same time resulting in a 45-percent slump in demand for regional bus transport from 2006 to 2012, state analysts observe as part of the Value for Money project.

While one in four Slovaks on average owned a car ten years ago, the ratio has increased to one in three in the meantime. While demand for regional bus transport fell by the aforementioned 45 percent between 2006 and 2012, bus transport companies have scrapped only 1 percent of connections. In 2011, subsidies for bus transport reached €109 million – up by 79 percent compared to 2006.

At the moment, one bus carries only 14 passengers on average, while subsidies cover as much as 50 percent of the costs.

Regional bus transport comes under the eight regional governments (VUCs). The VUCs provide the individual transport companies with subsidies based on their numbers.

However, “VUCs usually don’t have any transport data,” stated the analysts, as the transport companies don’t provide detailed figures to the regional authorities to draw up relevant analyses.

The Value for Money project is aimed at revising public expenditures, in this particular case by setting an optimum package for bus and train transport.