Uzrailpass set to introduce chunky railway ticket price hikes

By Muzaffar Ismailov in Tashkent October 3, 2023

Uzrailpass is set to introduce chunky railway ticket price hikes for domestic trips from October 20. The price increase will be 50% across train services, although tickets for Afrosiyob high-speed train journeys will move up by 100%.

Ticket prices for passenger train services were last raised in 2018 and 2019, with the 2019 revision applying to Afrosiyob services only.

“[O]ver the period from 2019 to the present, wages in the country have increased by 2.4 times, while electricity and fuel tariffs, logistics and transport costs have also increased,” Uzrailpass said in a statement.

“The renewal of the passenger car fleet, the purchase of new trains, and the reconstruction of railway stations in accordance with the requirements of the times have also played a role [in the decision to hike ticket prices],” it added.

In September, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev criticised the country’s railways, saying that “for many years, the industry has not been reformed, a modern management system has not been implemented”. He acknowledged that due to external factors, rail transportation and logistics costs have increased and that as a result both operator income and service quality remained low.

“With the current tariffs and management model, it is difficult for the private sector to participate in the industry. The revenues of most stations do not cover the costs. The level of digitalisation remains insufficient. The population is dissatisfied with the level of services at train stations, limited access to central stations, the inconvenient locations of parking lots, corruption in ticket sales, conditions and service in rail cars,” Mirziyoyev also said.

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