Information published on 12 February 2019 in the UIC electronic newsletter "UIC eNews" Nr 633.

Hungary: Rail Passenger Transport Company MÁV-START Co. announces latest developments in rail ticketing

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New ticket vending machines to be installed in Hungary

Rail Passenger Transport Company, MÁV-START Co. announced the winner of the public procurement procedure for the purchase of ticket vending machines (TVM). TRACO Co. will deliver a total of 375 TVMs with an option of a further 110. About one third of the TVMs accept only card payment, while at the rest of the machines cash and card payment are both available. The machines are to be installed at stations and stops situated in the suburban region of Budapest, major (high-traffic) stations across the country (e.g. Miskolc, Nyiregyhaza, Szeged, etc.) and at stations and stops in the Lake Balaton region. The roll-out is expected to begin in Q3 2019. The value of the procurement with the option comes to EUR 11.8 million which will be co-financed from EU funds, namely the Integrated Transport Operational Programme.

Increased number of tickets sold via vending machines and Internet

As a result of the development of ticket sales methods and discounts introduced by MÁV-START Co., one-fifth of those travelling by rail in Hungary purchase their rail tickets through self-service channels (via ticket vending machines (TVM), online or mobile application). Between 2014 and 2018, the number of tickets sold via TVMs quadrupled and there is a similar increase in the case of online sales as well. Last year, thanks to the discounts introduced for purchasing the tickets through self-service channels, the passengers of MÁV-START Co. could save around EUR 2.5 million, while MÁV-START Co. could still increase its revenues.

The number of tickets sold from TVMs increased from 3.4 million in 2014 to 14.5 million in 2018. Online shopping, especially the e-train-ticket is becoming more and more popular among train passengers. Last year 9.4 million train tickets were purchased online (including ticket sales via the application), compared to 3 million in 2014.

More and more people recognise the advantage of the e-train-tickets, namely that e-train-tickets can be presented to ticket inspectors on smartphones and tablets. This option has been available for more than two years, while ticket purchase from smartphone application has been possible since summer 2018. The railway company’s latest ticketing solution has quickly become popular as passengers can purchase their tickets on their way to the station without the need for queuing.

In order to promote the distribution channels, MÁV-START Co. has provided 5% discounts for tickets sold via vending machines. Moreover, e-train-tickets are sold for 10% less compared to those sold at ticket offices.

Finally, for trains marked with ’@’ in the schedule running during the off-peak periods passengers can get 20% discount if the journey is at least 100 kilometres and they purchase an e-train-ticket.

(Source: MÁV-START Co.)