Operators Warn Unprofitable Bus Lines May Be Abolished

By 13 January 2020

ZAGREB, January 13, 2020 - Unprofitable bus lines operated by private companies inside counties and between counties have not yet been abolished, and problems faced by these companies remain, the head of the association of private companies providing bus services, Hrvoje Meštrović, said on Monday.

Meštrović told Hina that all options were on the table, including scrapping loss-making lines.

Members of that association cover 80% of bus commuting service across counties.

Meštrović says that county authorities are trying to solve the problem because they do not want bus lines to be eliminated.

However, Ana Falek of the Croatian Employers Association (HUP) says that she fears that counties with poorer budgets will not have enough money to cover the difference in costs for unprofitable commuting lines run by private bus companies. "There is no progress. It is a status quo," she says.

According to HUP estimates, 318.5 million kuna should be set aside annually in subsidies to private bus companies that cover unprofitable routes within the public transport system.

Private bus companies hired to run public lines transport 200,000 passengers a day. However, their annual losses due to unprofitable commuting lines come to 300 million kuna, according to HUP calculations.

Annual revenues of private bus companies come to 364 million kuna, which is 5.92 kuna per kilometre covered, as against an estimated economically viable yield of 11.10 kuna per kilometre.

HUP warns that the current rules for public transport bus services, adopted on 29 November by the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure, is the least favourable for the regions of Lika, Gorski Kotar, Bjelovar, Virovitica and Požega-Slavonia as they may lose the largest number of public bus lines.

More bus transport news can be found in the Travel section.