From the 1st of April 2024, the Debrecen city government aims to provide free local public transport passes for children aged 6-14 years old attending kindergartens and public education institutions in Debrecen.

Debrecen’s General Assembly will decide on the introduction of the new type of season ticket at its meeting scheduled for the 25th of January 2024. Details were announced by Mayor of Debrecen László Papp and Minister of Construction and Transport János Lázár.

László Papp said that he and János Lázár had reviewed the development issues of the past and the near future, which clearly shows that Debrecen is one of Hungary’s most important development centres today. Speaking about the ongoing developments, he said that the funding scheme between Debrecen and the Ministry of Construction and Transport exceeds HUF 159 billion. These will induce a total of around HUF 300 billion in development funds in the coming years.

Significant improvements will be made to the urban infrastructure, in particular to the urban water supply network and the road network.

Reflecting on the public transport news of the past few days, the mayor drew János Lázár’s attention to the importance of rethinking the issues of agglomeration public transport not only in Budapest but also in the rural cities, due to the agglomeration connections.

László Papp stressed that public transport will continue to be a major focus in Debrecen, and an important point of this will be the travel discount scheme for young people and children. He announced that the Debrecen city government aims to provide free local public transport passes for children aged 6-14 years old attending kindergartens and students in public education institutions in Debrecen from the 1st of April 2024.

On the details, László Papp explained that the free student pass would be available through the Debrecen City Card and the newly created Junior Debrecen City Card. 

The newly introduced pass will also be available to children who do not live in Debrecen but attend kindergartens and schools in the city. For them, and for children aged 6 to 14 who do not have a Debrecen City Card or who have a City Card but would like to use a separate card for the student pass, the city intends to create the Junior Debrecen City Card.

The Debrecen City Card, which also functions as a free student pass, and the Junior Debrecen City Card could be applied for by the legal representatives of children through an electronic system, an application created by the Ministry of Interior, using a simple online interface. The plastic cards, which are grouped by name, by public education institution, by kindergarten group and by school class, will be issued by the City Card issuers and handed over to the public education institutions’ maintainers, who will then forward them to the eligible children and their parents.

Children of the age group concerned who already have a Debrecen City Card would not be obliged to apply for a new one. 

According to the data provided by the City Card Operator, 2,186 Debrecen City Cards have been issued so far for the 6-14 age group, which means that in this number of cases it is possible to activate the free local transport pass on the existing City Card, if the child’s legal representative decides so.

According to preliminary estimates, there are 16,000 children aged between 6 and 14 attending kindergarten, primary school, and grades 6 and 8 in the city who could be eligible for the free pass. The municipality intends to conclude subsidy contracts with a total of 20 operators of all the public education establishments concerned in the city (mainly primary schools, 6 and 8 grade secondary schools and kindergartens for children aged 6 and over who are still in nursery school).

The first time that these operators would have to order or purchase the pass from DKV Zrt. in March 2024 for children whose legal representatives have applied for it. The validity of the pass would always be for the school year, meaning that it could be used for the first time from the day of its introduction, from the 1st of April to the 31st of August 2024, after which the maintainers would order the passes again for the next school year (from the 1st of September). 

The decision on the introduction of the new type of season ticket – concerning the existing contract between the municipality and DKV Zrt. on public local passenger transport services – will be taken by the Debrecen General Assembly at its meeting scheduled for the 25th of January 2024. At the same time, the Municipal Decree on the Debrecen City Card will also have to be amended, given that the detailed rules for the Junior Debrecen City Card need to be defined in a municipal decree.

Minister of Construction and Transport János Lázár said that Debrecen will once again become one of the capitals of rural Hungary, a key player in Central Europe. Thus, today’s meeting looked at the tasks with two objectives in mind. One is infrastructure investments related to the economic development of the region.

According to this, the city needs HUF 700 billion to ensure that the infrastructure in Debrecen is able to serve the increased needs of economic development. These investments are mainly quality of life improvements.

The Minister said that so far the Government has provided HUF 159 billion in funding for Debrecen, which will trigger a total of HUF 300 billion of development. Today, the Government’s Conference of State Secretaries for Public Administration will discuss the next package of around HUF 193 billion, which will eventually amount to another HUF 300-350 billion.

Regarding the details, János Lázár said that a cooperation agreement will be signed with the Municipality of Debrecen on the exact way in which the developments will be implemented. He added that Debrecen and the whole Eastern Hungarian region will undergo a complete transformation thanks to the developments.

On the other purpose of the minister’s visit, János Lázár said that the government had taken a number of decisions on the reform of public transport fares. Accordingly, several changes to the fare system will come into force from the 1st of March 2024.

The changes are as follows:

  • All season tickets are abolished, and from March only county and country season tickets will be available.
  • Discounted day tickets will be introduced.
  • The system of discounts will be revised, with 22 of the current 65 discounts being retained, all of which will be 50 percent. Public servants, such as education workers, will be granted unlimited 50 percent travel on registration.
  • From March, under-14s will also be able to travel free of charge, and between 14 and 25 years old will also benefit from a 50 percent discount. In addition, large families and people with disabilities can use public transport free of charge.Card payment will be possible on all Volánbus services.
  • All barriers to country tickets will be removed.
  • The issue of public transport in Budapest: on which the government proposes that the municipality of the capital should accept the county and country passes and BKK passes for all public transport within the administrative boundaries of Budapest.

Source: debrecen.hu

Author: Debrecen4U