Sixty-two per cent of Bulgarians are not satisfied with the cleanliness and maintenance of trains, considerably higher than the EU average of 34 per cent, according to the results of a Eurobarometer poll.
The poll was done among 1000 Bulgarians between January 16 and February 1 2018, part of an EU-wide poll on satisfaction regarding rail services.
The Eurobarometer poll, the results of which were released on September 18, found that just two per cent of Bulgarians used trains for national or regional trips, below the EU average of five per cent.
Seventy-one per cent of Bulgarians were satisfied with the ease of buying tickets, 61 per cent with the availability of seats, while just 35 per cent were satisfied with the punctuality and reliability of trains. This last figure is in contrast to an EU average of 59 per cent.
According to the Eurobarometer survey, 66 per cent of Europeans are satisfied with the frequency of trains. Punctuality and reliability are also well received, with 59 per cent of users satisfied.
Moreover, 55 per cent of Europeans are satisfied with the provision of information during the journey, particularly when facing a delay. These figures all represent significant improvements on the results of a similar survey carried out in 2013.
The survey also provides an insight into travel habits. Four out of five (80 per cent) Europeans travel by train, and they are most likely to use the train for suburban trips (67 per cent).
More than three quarters (78 per cent) never make international trips by rail.
Significant room for improvement remains, according to a Eurobarometer statement on the poll: only 38 per cent of Europeans are satisfied with complaint handling mechanisms, and the accessibility of rail services for persons with reduced mobility requires further work.
For example, only 41 per cent of Europeans expressed satisfaction with assistance provided by station staff for people with disabilities or people with reduced mobility.
The figures also show a need to strengthen the enforcement of passenger rights, Eurobarometer said.
The survey also shows that 75 per cent of Europeans find that buying train tickets is easier and 62 per cent are happy with the availability of tickets for the journeys using several trains and transport, illustrating the value of continued efforts to promote multimodality – the use of different modes (or means) of transport on the same journey – therebyincreasing the attractiveness of rail services, the report on the poll said.