A ticket price increase for Elron trains is inevitable because the wages of the company’s employees need to be increased, among other things, Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Kadri Simson (Center) said.
“Elron’s ticket prices have been unchanged for several years now, whereas the overall price rise during the same period has reached almost 6%. Today we are in a situation where we need to raise the wages of workers at Elron, and a part of the raise will be financed with ticket revenue slightly higher than planned,” Simson said.
She added that they were also planning to add trains to the routes with the highest number of passengers. The bigger the number of passengers, the bigger the state subsidy necessary in this case.
The EUR 9 million that the government will add to the subsidy of Elron next year will be spent for the higher railway user fee, Simson said. The increase in ticket revenue meanwhile could then be directed to improving the quality of Elron’s service.
In addition, the new draft regulation the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure forwarded to the Ministry of Finance will enable Elron to differentiate its prices by offering lower prices on trains with a lower load factor, and higher prices wherever passenger numbers are greater to better distribute the passengers across different trains and departure times, Simson added.
The expected increase in ticket prices will amount to 3% to 5%, according to the draft. In practice, this means that the price of tickets in a single zone will increase from EUR 1.20 to EUR 1.30, while the price of tickets for a trip through several zones will increase by 20 cents.
In addition, the new regulation will allow Elron to ask for up to 50% more for first-class tickets on diesel trains.
The additional income earned from the increase in ticket prices is estimated to be EUR 600,000. (ERR/Business World Magazine)