From December 8 2012, it will be possible to buy train tickets by sending a text message and from 2013, tickets will be sold online, according to Bulgarian state railways BDZ.
Rail tickets bought via SMS will be at the usual prices but there will be a fee payable to the customer’s mobile phone service provided.
BDZ director of sales and marketing Dimitar Kostadinov said that the SMS sales were to be tested in a pilot project on theSofiato Mezdra line and once successful, would be extended throughout the country.
There would be ticket sales only for passenger and suburban trains which were the most problematic in terms of supplying tickets to travellers, Kostadinov said.
A passenger wanting to buy a ticket will have to send an SMS with the initials of the stations from which they want to leave and to travel to, with a hyphen between them. The system will respond with information on the train leaving on this route to the nearest 25 minutes and offering the option to buy a ticket. Pressing “1” will confirm the ticket purchase. This, in turn, will result in a response SMS with a unique code, to be checked by a train conductor using a special machine to prevent fraud.
BDZ ticket sales online will be launched after the New Year, BDZ said.