Between 7:15 pm and 5:30 am, there was no ticket sales desk open at Keleti Railway Station. Passengers were advised to use the vending machines or purchase the tickets online, RTL News reported.
The reason for the closed desk was that the only night shift ticket seller got ill, and there was no way for substitution in such a short time, an associate of MÁV (Hungarian State Railways) explained. On Monday, only 4 desks were open out of the total of 13 because of labour shortage, according to Index. We have already published articles about how things took a wrong turn long ago for MÁV.
Keleti Railway Station, Photo: Wikimedia Commons by Mister No
On the Facebook page of MÁVINFORM, passengers were advised to use the vending machines or buy the tickets online. A lot of the machines only accepted card or cash or were just simply out of order – in this case, the only way was to buy the ticket on the internet.
Those who were not able to buy the tickets at all and boarded the trains anyway could expect a fine of 2600 HUF (8.7 USD).
In August, 30 trains could not depart because there was no personnel for them. According to MÁV, that is only a fragment of the full number of trains. They are constantly recruiting staff; meanwhile, they see no problem with the services. They are trying to reduce labour shortage as best they can. There are approximately 800 empty positions right now, mainly ticket sellers, ticket inspectors, repairmen of the overhead wires, and switchmen.
Members of “Közlekedő Tömeg Egyesület” (Plying Crowd Association) say that these problems occur every day – there are simply not enough railway workers. The operation of MÁV is more and more scandalous – you can read about the petition by passengers here.