Zuzana Horčíková, head of the Tariff Services department of the Bratislava City Transport Office, spoke with The Slovak Spectator on January 13 to explain the changes effective January 1 to the public transport system in the capital.
The Slovak Spectator (TSS): Fares for tickets have been changed, and a new system introduced whereby travellers can use one ticket to combine rides on different buses and trams. Why the changes?
Zuzana Horčíková (ZH): Ticket prices were being raised constantly in the past, and we thought that the new system would help make traveling cheaper in the city by introducing a more just system of tariffs. The new fares are more sensitive to the time a passenger spends on the bus.
TSS: Many of our readers have complained about poor service on city transit - about aggressive ticket checkers and rude drivers. To them, it may seem you have increased prices without improving services. Is this the case?
ZH: According to studies we have done, you can traverse the area of the Old Town within 10 to 20 minutes. For a 10 minute ride you pay six crowns, and you may even change buses within these 10 minutes, while before you had to use a 10 crown ticket each time you got on a new line. So I don't think traveling is more expensive now, quite the opposite.
As far as services go, this is not my area. You should talk to our spokesman.
TSS: Many kiosks still don't have tickets for sale, and it's sometimes impossible to find an automatic dispenser that works. What happens if you get caught riding without a ticket even though it was impossible to buy one?
ZH: A passenger is obliged to have a ticket for traveling, and if there are no tickets at the newsstands or the ticket machine is out of service, when he is caught by a ticket checker, he will still be asked to pay a fine. He can be brought to a Transport Office and there he will have a chance to explain the circumstances, and this will be taken into consideration.
TSS: And what if someone has a complaint?
ZH: If passengers have a complaint about the quality of services they can call our Bratislava number at (07) 59 50 11 11 and ask for the Control Department ('oddelenie kontroly'). Your complaint will be registered and dealt with.
TSS: How will it be dealt with?
ZH: Again, you should ask the spokesman. It's not my area.
17. Jan 2000 at 0:00 | Martina Pisárová