Soaring fuel prices prompt Bulgarian bus transport companies to mull price increases

Transport companies in Bulgaria’s Plovdiv region are considering a further increase in long-distance bus ticket prices because of the country’s soaring liquid fuel prices.

Some of the companies said that in the past week, their only bus lines that were profitable were those taking people to and from Bulgaria’s Black Sea coastal cities and resorts.

Countrywide, long-distance bus tickets increased in price at the beginning of August 2012, because of rising fuel prices.

On August 23 2012, the average price of A95 petrol at Lukoil fuel stations was 2.77 leva a litre and A98 petrol was 2.93 leva a litre. Diesel was 2.71 leva a litre.

Speaking to public broadcaster Bulgarian National Television on August 23, transport company manager Veselin Doshkov said that after optimisation of staff and fleet, the only option remaining for transport companies was increasing ticket prices. He said that half the cost of providing the long-distance bus service was fuel. Doshkov confirmed that the increase could be about five to six per cent.

However, at the same time, companies are concerned that increasing ticket prices could cost them passengers.

This summer has seen a year-on-year decrease in the number of Bulgarians travelling long-distance on domestic bus routes, with the only increase being in the number of people travelling to and from the seaside.



The Sofia Globe staff

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