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Free travel for all older people in Hungary

Tram passengers in Budapest
Tram passengers in Budapest

While the car-based mobility of older people is on the rise all over Europe, public transport still plays a crucial role for many people to maintain their personal mobility. This is especially true in new member states of the European Union, where the modal split towards public transport is still relatively favourable.

In these countries one must also bear in mind the very low purchasing power of state pensions - current pensioners could not build up savings in private pension funds. In this context, older people have access to public transport services at a preferential rate in practically all new EU member states. What's more, in Hungary all passengers aged over 65 can travel free of charge.

This benefit applies both to using public transport services in cities as well as to train and bus services among cities. For those people who have passed the age of 55, they are eligible for 20% ticket price discount - though only on the national railway network.

Originally, this benefit was developed with Hungarian citizens in mind. However, since this conflicted with the EU legislation, all EU citizens can travel now free of charge in Hungary. The only condition for this is to show an ID with a photograph to the ticket controller.

Some limitations do apply, though. The free travel only applies to the second class. If one wishes to travel in the first class of trains, the traveler only needs to pay the difference. The same principle applies to the reservations.

Source: Press release by Jürgen Ponath in

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