Bucharest transport company wants to hike bus fares for 1st time in 11 years; mayor disagrees

Autobuze Otokar in baza STB din cartierul Militari, luni, 28 ianuarie 2019. Inquam Photos / Octav Ganea

Bucharest’s public transport is among the cheapest in Europe, and after 11 years, the company that runs the city’s buses and trams thinks it’s time for ticket prices to go up. .

The Bucharest Transport Company (STB) which is under the authority of the municipality, wants tickets hiked to 2.5 lei, up from the current 1.3 lei, (less than 0.3 euros) for a single journey. Even then, it would still be subsidized.

In comparison, a single bus ticket in Budapest is about 1.04 euros, while in Vienna it’s 2.4 euros. A ticket costs about 0.82 euros in Sofia, the capital of neighboring Bulgaria. Bus tickets are cheaper in Chisinau, Moldova, just 0.1 euros for a one-way ticket.

The final decision will be taken by the Bucharest General Council. However, Mayor Gabriela Firea, who is running for re-election this summer, said she doesn’t agree with the move.

STB general manager, Andrei Crecu, said the proposal had been under consideration for some time.

“Given the investments we made, we’ve had this proposal (to hike fares) for a long time,” he told Mefiafax news agency. He said the real price of a ticket was about 6 lei.

Firea, however, claimed his comments had been taken out of context, and prices would not be hiked.

Retirees, school students and people with disabilities are granted free travel on buses and trams in Bucharest. A one-way ticket on the city subway, which is run by another company, is 2.5 lei, also one of the cheapest in Europe.

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