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Cracow. There will be no increase in ticket prices in public transport. Instead, timetable cuts

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The Krakow City Council did not agree on Wednesday to an increase in public transport fares. According to the proposal of the Public Transport Authority, the fares were to increase in some cases by as much as half. Officials are threatening drastic cuts to the network if more expensive tariffs are not introduced. The budget for the functioning of public transport lacks about PLN 300 million.

On Wednesday, Krakow’s councilors rejected the new price list for public transport, which, according to the proposal, was to come into force on February 1. They did not agree to the ticket price increases, calling them drastic. In previous sessions, the discussion of the bill was postponed three times, and finally, after the first reading, it was thrown into the trash.

Half price increase

The changes were to cover only the prices of season tickets. Holders of the Krakow Card would have to reach deeper into their pockets – residents would have to pay about half as much as before for the possibility of using buses and trams. For example, a resident’s ticket for one line would increase by 52 percent – from PLN 54 to PLN 82. A resident’s ticket for all lines would cost 49 percent more – instead of PLN 80 – PLN 119. The network ticket for people without the Krakow Card was also to be more expensive: for one line it was to cost PLN 119 instead of PLN 80 (change by 52%), and for all lines – PLN 159 instead of PLN 148.

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The Public Transport Authority in Krakow (ZTP) proposed an increase in translators’ prices inflationhigh fuel prices and energy, which are reflected in public transport expenses. According to estimates, the new price list was to give the city about PLN 30-50 million in revenues per year. Meanwhile, this year, about PLN 300 million is missing for the functioning of the Krakow MPK.

The office threatens to cut the network of connections

Łukasz Franek, director of the Public Transport Authority, convincing the councilors of the need to introduce increases, threatened that if the new price list is not adopted, trams and buses will run less frequently from March. – In March you will have to make a decision: either left or right. Either additional funds will be found, or we will adapt the transport offer to the current budget, radically reducing the network of connections – said Franek. – We’re like a tailor. As much fabric as we get, we will sew such a suit,” he added.

Read also: More expensive train tickets. How much will we pay for the ride?

According to the head of ZTP, the increase is not radical and the offer of the Krakow carrier after the increases would still be lower than in many other Polish cities. “It’s a decent offer,” he said.

Does the city pass the costs on to the residents?

Some councilors criticize the city authorities for looking for missing money in the pockets of residents, while funds from the budget flow to other, in their opinion, less important purposes. Councilor Łukasz Wantuch pointed out that at the end of last year Krakow allocated PLN 11 million for the purchase of the Jalu Kurka park from the Salvatorian Assembly. – Cuts in public transport are unacceptable for any councilor – assessed Wantuch.

Read also: Fuel prices in Poland “one of the lowest in Europe” vs “the highest in Europe”. Who’s right?

In turn, councilor Łukasz Gibała, leader of the opposition club Kraków for Residents, criticized the office for other expensive purchases, such as a bench costing PLN 228,000 or the second municipal television Play Kraków News, later renamed Hello Kraków, which receives millions from the city budget. – This proposal, contrary to what the initiators say, is not saving public transport in Krakow, it is murdering it – said Gibała.

Opposition to the proposal of the office were also councilors from Law and Justice and Civic Platform.

Officials from the ZTP do not refer to the city’s expenses that do not relate to communication. They emphasize that the rates have gone up significantly and the board has “hands tied”. – We cannot not pay carriers whose costs are constantly increasing. In 2021, in the case of trams, a vehicle-kilometre cost about PLN 16, now it is almost PLN 26, emphasizes Sebastian Kowal, spokesman for the institution, in an interview with tvn24.pl. In the case of buses, the cost of a vehicle-kilometre increased by about two zlotys.

The draft resolution was defended only by representatives of the presidential caucus. Councilor Jacek Bednarz emphasized – after director Frank – that the lack of increases would mean restrictions for passengers. – For peripheral housing estates, the fact that the bus will suddenly drop out of the schedule or that its running will be limited will be a big problem – he said. However, he did not convince the majority of councillors, so there are many indications that even before the arrival of spring, courses may start to fall out of the timetable.

Main photo source: travellifestyle/shutterstock

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