Rising operating costs and inflation are behind the increase in public transport fares in the city under Ještěd. From the new year, passengers will have to dig deeper into their wallets for both one-off tickets and coupon subscriptions. An electronic ticket will be set as the basic fare.
public transport. Illustrative photo.
| Photo: DPMLJ
The basic ticket for an adult now costs 24 crowns, the electronic public transport ticket will now cost 28 crowns and the paper ticket will cost 34 crowns. “After years when we only discounted the electronic fare, today we set it as basic. So, on the other hand, we are disadvantaging paper fares, which are burdened with accompanying costs such as ticket printing or sales commissions,” said Deputy Mayor for Technical Administration and Information Technology Jiří Šolc (ANO).
The funds that the Transport Company of the City of Liberec and Jablonec nad Nisou (DPMLJ) will receive from the change in prices will be used for investments in track reconstruction, renewal of the vehicle fleet, as well as the purchase of new vehicles.
At the same time, the time of validity of the ticket will be extended on weekdays. While citizens could now travel for a maximum of 40 minutes on one ticket, thanks to the change it will be a full hour. The annual subscription will cost 3,990, with an increase of 340 crowns.
For the quarterly coupon, the price rose by 230 crowns to 1,600, passengers can buy a 30-day coupon for 660 crowns and a weekly one for 250. “The subscription itself remains the most attractive component. We are trying to distribute the increasing costs in such a way that the city bears more of them than the citizens,” emphasized the mayor of Liberec, Jaroslav Zámečník (Mayors for LK).
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“I try to walk, but when I can’t anymore, I bought a one-time ticket. Now I won’t be able to afford it, for 34 crowns it is completely unacceptable to me. Transport is not at such a level that it has to become more expensive,” Roman Čeliš, a disabled person, confided. “Well, that’s the peak. You can’t even stand on the bus in the morning, let alone sit with a small child, when you’re going to kindergarten across town. And pay for this? A golden car,” Pavlína from Liberec did not hide her disappointment.
Starting next year in Liberec, the basic fine rate for traveling without a valid ticket will also increase from 600 to 1,500 crowns. A novelty should be the possibility to reduce the amount of the fine to 700 crowns if the “black passenger” buys at least a quarterly ticket. “On the one hand, we have to respond to increased costs, but on the other hand, we want to motivate the public to use the offered public transport service more and more often,” added the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the DPMLJ, Michal Zděnek.
The opposition, which proposed the introduction of a short-term ticket and the possibility of buying a favorable annual ticket in installments, does not agree with the increase in public transport fares. According to her, a short-term ticket with a price of up to 20 crowns and a validity of approximately 15 minutes has been missing from the fare offer for a long time, which would allow people to get from the city center to most housing estates or to tourist destinations.
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Opposition MPs also proposed that if someone bought nine monthly coupons in a row, they would automatically be loaded with a subsequent zero-price quarterly coupon. According to city officials, implementing something like this would cost millions and take at least a year.
“The city management simply does not want to, so they invent absurd arguments. When it didn’t work out that way, we contacted the company levnatramvajenka.cz, which offers the purchase of an annual tram ticket in installments in Prague. This company has also started operating in Liberec since November,” informed representative and member of the supervisory board of DPMLJ Josef Šedlbauer (Liberec open to the public).
The price of the service at a private company is 399 crowns per month, so in total a person will pay 4,788 crowns per year. It is almost 800 crowns more than the annual coupon, but the service is primarily aimed at people who cannot afford to pay it all at once. It’s still worth more than buying four consecutive 90-day coupons.
“We wanted the city to provide the installment plan under more favorable conditions for the citizens. But the capacity for action of the town hall and the Liberec transport company is what it is. We are so happy that there will at least be an option offered by a private provider,” added Jindřich Felcman (Liberec open to people).
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Source: Jiří Louda