There was a marvellous report on the news last night about how RATB – the company which operates public transport in Bucharest – has inadvertently picked up our ‘make public transport in Bucharest free‘ idea and put it into practice.
Due to an almighty cock-up in RATB’s Department of Crapness (we feel certain it has one), it appears that there is not a single Activ or Multiplu card currently available for purchase anywhere in Bucharest.
In other words, you can’t buy a ticket.
As such, passengers who do not already have cards need to either take their chances travelling on a bus or tram with no ticket (the woman at the ticket office in the news report suggests that ticket inspectors are aware of the problem and will be understanding) or – the reporter is helpfully told – find someone who has a card, pay them for one trip and travel with them. “You would have to get off before they do, of course”, the reporter is helpfully told.
RATB refused to make any official comment.
We assume that the shortage of cards extends to the farthest reaches of the RATB network, including the airport: we therefore wonder what newly arrived visitors to the city are being advised when they try to buy tickets? We will be at the airport next week and will find out. If anyone passes through before we do, we’d be grateful for any info.
In another brilliant piece of Romanian transport news, the country was this week told that it can no longer run InterCity train services: all current InterCity trains will be redesignated as InterRegio.
Well, under new European transport regulations any train designated as an InterCity service must have a guaranteed average speed of at least 60 kph. Romanian trains cannot guarantee such speeds as the poor state of the tracks on many sectors of the country’s railways simply does not allow it.
Another great leap backwards for CFR.