As reported, coach company Volánbusz are centralising all their regional bus services under one company. They have also created a new logo and a new colour scheme for their different types of bus routes.

Volánbusz is coming to an end of a period of structural reorganisation. In February of this year, wrote that Volánbusz is planning to become a centralised company and replacing its 7 regional centres. However, as of the 1st of October, the regional centres will remain, but they will all be operated under the name Volánbusz. The only visible change for customers will be the facelift that the vehicles will receive – all suburban buses will become yellow, while intercity coach routes will run white buses.

The company is also receiving a new logo as of today, which, based on research by RTL Klub, cost €250 to design and was bought on a stock photo website.

At present the advantages of this reorganisation are not evident; for example, supplying replacement parts and a new bus during a break down from a centralised Budapest headquarters seems inefficient and time-consuming.

The centralisation may be linked to the planned synchronisation of train and bus routes. It will help reduce operation costs by making both systems more efficient. This will be achieved by cancelling either the bus or train route when both are present and one of them is far less popular. Ultimately, this will relieve financial pressure on the national transport system, which is funded by taxpayers.

Maintaining the bus and rail service in Hungary costs around €1.5 billion a year, and by saving just saving 1-2% could mean that significant budgets can be allocated to other infrastructure projects.

The ultimate target would be to integrate Volán (bus), MÁV (train) and BKK (Budapest transport) services. In some cases commuters to the capital have to buy 3 separate tickets for the 3 different types of transport service.

Since Volán and MÁV are in direct competition at the moment, it is not in their interest to serve each other’s respective stops and stations, which makes commutes across the country very inefficient.

There are regional transport companies administering different modes of regional transport in a lot of European cities – namely London, Paris, Berlin and Vienna – meaning commuters can buy a ticket which is valid across all services. Hopefully Budapest will move in this direction in the near future.

Earlier this year we wrote an article on how to get the best out of public transport in Budapest. The government is also encouraging Hungarian cities to purchase electric buses.

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