IC loses 73% W-wa – Gdansk passengers

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March timetable – 85% ‘Express’ trains to run even slower.

Worsening connection times. Source Dziennik Gazeta Prawna.

(Click table to see the original on the GazetaPrawna.pl website.)

Today’s Dziennik Gazeta Prawna (Daily Law Journal) carries a damning article about worsening state of Polish rail services. Quoting PKP IC chairman, Janusz Malinowski, DGP reveals that as a result of worsening connection times 73% less passengers were carried on the Warsaw – Gdansk route in September 2011 than in the same period the previous year. On the Warsaw – Krakow and Warsaw – Katowice routes the fall in passenger numbers was 20%.

The results are a disaster for PKP IC. Its prestigious Express (Ex), Express InterCity (EIC) and EuroCity (EC) services, which in 2010 accounted for more 30% of its revenues, are haemorrhaging passengers. In an attempt to stem the flow PKP has dropped the price of certain tickets. For example, the cost of travelling on the Malopolske and Norwida services between Cracow – Warsaw and Gdynia has been reduced by 30%. But not all the passengers have come back.

Connection times and ticket prices are important factors in determining whether passengers choose to travel by train, but so are ‘soft’ factors such as the ease of purchasing tickets, the accuracy of timetable information and customer service. PKP IC  manages to achieve ‘third world’ levels on all 5 of the key factors important to passengers. Of course, not all factors are completely under the control of PKP IC. Ticket prices are driven by track access charges which are controlled by another PKP subsidiary, PKP PLK, which has actually raised its charges for trains travelling on the Warsaw – Gdynia route by 30%!

To add insult to injury, connection times will actually get worse for 85% of Ex, EIC and EC trains, following the March timetable adjustment. Of the 80 trains whose connection times will be affected by the new timetable only 12 will reach their destinations in less time than before. Undersecretary of State responsible for rail, Andrzej Massel, assures intending passengers that the longer journey times are only a temporary measure to allow key infrastructure work to be complete in time for Euro 2012 and that after 1 June connection times will improve dramatically.

DGP comments that the improved train times will be the result of certain infrastructure works being suspended for the duration of the championships. When the fans go home, the works will resume and the slower connection times will return.

Source:

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