Last week, several committees of the general assembly of Szeged discussed the package of initiatives on offering a variety of discounts to passengers from the beginning of July till the end of September. According to plans, one 24-hour or 72-hour ticket could be used by 2 persons at weekends, and the “one ticket after six in the afternoon” campaign would be reintroduced during festivals held in the city. Under the latter, one single ticket bought after 6 o’clock in the afternoon could be used by the passenger to travel on any public transport vehicle until six o’clock the next morning. This scheme would be valid:
- the nights of performances held in the Újszeged Open-Air Theatre,
- the 20-August city festivities (20-23 August),
- the International Tisza Fish Festival (4-6 September) and
- the “Bortér” wine festival (16-20 September)
Vice Mayor for City Development Sándor Nagy said that similar discounts had been offered to passengers in the past but, with the drop of single and season ticket purchases during the pandemic, many people are now expected to take the advantages of the 24- and 72-hour tickets during the festival season. Former experience shows that both tourists and local residents buy these tickets, which help people save money and have a carefree time. According to Sándor Nagy, the discounts, introduced for promotional purposes, will have a positive impact on Szeged’s community transport in the long term and people will return to buses, trolleybuses and trams.
Szeged is the only city in Hungary where tickets can be purchased on vehicles, with the help of touchscreen vending machines. These tickets are valid only at a given time and on a given vehicle – but it will soon also be possible to buy tickets and season tickets online, in advance. The Vice Mayor added that this new scheme, which is now in the prep phase, will be similar to what MÁV (the Hungarian State Railways) and the Volánbusz (intercity bus service) companies use.
Sometimes in August, around 20 August at the latest, we will finish the application development that enables local people and tourists to Szeged to buy their on-board tickets, 24- or 72-hour tickets or monthly season tickets with a smartphone application – said Sándor Nagy
In practical terms, with the scheme, tickets can be purchased online but must be validated on the vehicle – and when the ticket inspector asks the passenger for the ticket, s/he just checks the code on the passenger’s mobile device with his/her own device.
The same application system must be used as the one of the two national public transportation companies as Volánbusz takes an active part in the city’s mass transportation services and because, owing to the tramtrain – a train line connecting the cities of Szeged and Hódmezővásárhely –, local community transport will soon be connected also to MÁV in several respects.