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First day of free travel brought overcrowded trains

LEGISLATION allowing free travel by train for children, students and pensioners who make up almost one half of the population came into effect on November 17, causing overcrowding of some trains. Officials point out that it was partially caused by the national holiday commemorating the Velvet Revolution resulting in extended weekend, the Sme daily reported on November 18.

LEGISLATION allowing free travel by train for children, students and pensioners who make up almost one half of the population came into effect on November 17, causing overcrowding of some trains. Officials point out that it was partially caused by the national holiday commemorating the Velvet Revolution resulting in extended weekend, the Sme daily reported on November 18.

“This day used to be a great burden on railway transportation,” Transport Minister Ján Počiatek told to press on November 17, as quoted by the SITA newswire, “and I hope that it won’t be assessed in a way that trains are fuller today because of the introduction of this measure.”

Almost 200,000 people registered for free trains, while 20,000 allegedly bought a free ticket; the state railway company tried to face the increased number of passengers by additional carriages from the era of socialism, according to SITA.

The numbers are proof that this measure is meaningful, Fico told to press.

“This proves that this measure has its meaning and has great support [of people],” Fico said, as quoted by SITA.

According to Počiatek railways should not have problem to manage more passengers since number of people should increase by 10 percent and just 25 percent of the current trains’ capacity is being used, Sme reported.

Source: Sme, SITA

Compiled by Roman Cuprik from press reports
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