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Lazar: New system of transport fees ‘greatest utility fee cut ever’

March 1 will be the start of a new era in Hungary's transport system, with the introduction of new transport fees, representing the "greatest utility fee cut ever", the minister of construction and transport said on Thursday.

Janos Lazar told a press conference that the new system of transport fees were to make the lives of over 4 million people simpler and better.

The introduction of the new system of fees represents the greatest revamp of the MAV-Volan group in the past 35 years, he said.

There are some 4.5 million commuters, and “starting from March 1, everybody can reach their destination at lower fees, in a simpler and fairer system”, he added.

Since the introduction of county and country passes, more than 5.25 million such passes have been sold, with 9 out of every 10 passes sold being county and country passes, he said.

He also said that the new passes had not resulted in lower revenues, with both MAV and Volan closing record-breaking years in 2023. With MAV registering 130 million journeys in 2022 and 180 million in 2023, and Volan 530 million journeys in 2022 and 570 million in 2023, revenues grew from 122 billion (EUR 310m) in 2022 to 128 billion in 2023, he added.

The number of journeys increased as a result of the introduction of cheaper county and country passes, while a jump in the sale of cheaper tickets resulted in higher revenues on the whole, he said.

Lazar said that 700,000 children aged 6-14 would be able to travel for free and 1 million young people aged 14-25 would travel at half price. Free travel will remain to be in force for people aged above 65, which will also apply to an additional 300,000 people under 65 who are eligible for pension-type services, he added.

Fully 200,000 families with three or more children, or a total of 1 million people, will be eligible for free long-distance travel from March 1.

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