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free travel on public transport and trains for EU seniors

Birmingham, United...
Level Contributor
34 posts
9 reviews
free travel on public transport and trains for EU seniors

I'm a British citizen, over 65, and intend to travel a lot on public transport in Budapest and on trains around the country. Recently I got on a bus in Budapest and showed my passport to the driver, but he just got angry and said "No! Only Hungarians!". So, rather than making a scene, I bought a ticket. To avoid such situations in the future (maybe some conductors on local trains also don't know the rules), could anybody kindly give me the references to the webpages of BKV and MAV (in Hungarian) where they state that EU seniors have free travel. Then I can print them out and show them to staff if necessary. Thanks!

Hungary
Level Contributor
2,636 posts
12 reviews
1. Re: free travel on public transport and trains for EU seniors

Steve,

You can show them this webpage on your phone: bkk.hu/tomegkozlekedes/…

OR

Print out this flyer, would be harder to show on your phone: bkk.hu/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/4494.pdf

North Yorkshire...
Level Contributor
1,950 posts
97 reviews
2. Re: free travel on public transport and trains for EU seniors

Steve - you were unfortunate to come across that particular person. I've never had a problem on the trains, buses or trams and now just carry my photocard driving licence with me rather than carting my passport every where. I have a letter from BKV somewhere which is in both languages which confirms the entitlement. I'll look for it tomorrow and come back if I find it.

In the .pdf file Tagliacozzi directed you to I think the relevant text to highlight and point out to the driver is near the top in the left column and it says

65 évnél idősebb magyar, valamint EU, EGT tagállam és Svájc állampolgára

Személyi igazolvány vagy bármely más személyi azonosításra alkalmas okmány

Hope I've copied the right bit. Please correct me someone if I've got it wrong.

Remember though when going on the train that you need to go to the ticket office, show your ID and get a ticket before boarding the train (not HEV suburban service though). Often there will be a supplement to pay based on mileage in IC trains. It is about 175HUF for a 120k trip, so peanuts.

On the city buses, trams and Metro just get on and then if asked by an Inspector show your ID then. No need otherwise.

Don't be too harsh on the driver though, maybe he had a tiff with his wife before going to work! Few will speak any amount of English if at all but I'll bet that no-one here will speak any Hungarian at all either. I must admit that I have always found everyone I've dealt with to be polite and helpful but that probable means when I arrive in Bp next week I'll find your driver!!

Hungary
Level Contributor
2,636 posts
12 reviews
3. Re: free travel on public transport and trains for EU seniors

Peter, that's the right text.

Just an FYI Kontrol does a lot of "face control" per se. So unless you look like you're 30 and trying to game the system they aren't going to even ask you. The grey hairs wil be enough. ;) Buses and trams will rarely question aside from a few routes. Metro is where you might have to show them the piece of paper saying you're eligible and a photocopy of something with your DOB.

North Yorkshire...
Level Contributor
1,950 posts
97 reviews
4. Re: free travel on public transport and trains for EU seniors

It must be that my grey hairs have done the trick so far! Even with the Metro with the Kontrollers at the top of the escalators a quick flash of the driving licence is usually sufficient.

Birmingham, United...
Level Contributor
34 posts
9 reviews
5. Re: free travel on public transport and trains for EU seniors

Thanks very much, Tagliacozzi and Peter! I think the information would be useful for other people, especially now there are so many new buses appearing, where you have to enter at the front and often show your ticket and pass. I agree that most Hungarians are polite, but I'm sure there are other drivers who don't know the rule about EU citizens.

I do have a question about trains. I realise that I'll have to pay for a seat ticket on the faster trains (those marked with R and/or IC in the Máv timetable), but for the slower trains, where you don't have to reserve a seat, can I just get on the train, and then show my passport when the conductor comes?

North Yorkshire...
Level Contributor
1,950 posts
97 reviews
6. Re: free travel on public transport and trains for EU seniors

Steve - as far as I am aware you do need to get a ticket as I described earlier. It not only shows where you have booked to it also indicates that you will have paid the correct supplement. The IC supplement is different, and separate from the seat reservation supplement you mention. Again that is it as far as I know. I'm prepared to be corrected on that though. I have also read somewhere that you must get a ticket or face being hit with a fine when the inspector passes through the train.

It is worth noting, if you haven't already experienced it, that getting that ticket from the office can be a slow process at times so it is well worth giving yourself time. I always allow at least half an hour before the train is due.

Hungary
Level Contributor
2,636 posts
12 reviews
7. Re: free travel on public transport and trains for EU seniors

Don't bother with the old trains if you have to utilize them.. Go for InterCity if you want something comparable to the UK or rather not relive communism.

Edited: 12:11 pm, June 09, 2015
Birmingham, United...
Level Contributor
34 posts
9 reviews
8. Re: free travel on public transport and trains for EU seniors

Thanks once again. But I'm still a bit puzzled. Is there any kind of supplement to pay on trains not marked R or IC? Let's take an example from the Máv timetable in English (elvira.mav-start.hu/elvira.dll/xslvzs/uf). If you want to go from Budapest to Pécs you can take direct trains marked R and IC in the column "surcharge, seat reservation, supplement", or trains where you have to change where there's nothing in that column. I would normally take a fast train, but I might sometimes want to travel at a leisurely pace or go to small places where the fast trains don't stop. I foresee problems when a conductor or inspector comes on a local train who maybe doesn't know the rules. The webpage recommended by Tagliacozzi is for Budapest, but perhaps I need a similar page for the Máv to show the inspector to prevent being "hit with a fine".

Hungary
Level Contributor
2,636 posts
12 reviews
9. Re: free travel on public transport and trains for EU seniors

Steve,

If you tell me where you want to go, I wouldn't mind translating it for you since the person behind the desk will probably speak barely passable English...

Anyways here's the discount information for all age groups: mav-start.hu/mav-start/belfoldi-utazas/kedve… I didn't read through the entire document since it's a bit difficult on my phone, but you are eligble as an EU Citizen: (Page 43) - mav-start.hu/sites/default/files/res/mav_sta…

Edited: 1:23 pm, June 09, 2015
North Yorkshire...
Level Contributor
1,950 posts
97 reviews
10. Re: free travel on public transport and trains for EU seniors

It is quite simple if not easy to logically understand. If you look at the Mav-Start page you linked and then input your start and finish destinations and click the timetable button you will see on the next page all the trains on the date you entered listed. The columns also show if there are supplements on any particular train. There is also a clickable link to an explanation of the various supplements which do vary. Link here mav-start.hu/res/tajekoztato_20130301_en.pdf.

Understand when using the MAV-START site that, if you do a dummy booking, that the prices will only show the fares, including supplements, for tickets bought on the web that day meaning that the supplements when you walk up and get you ticket from the office will/may be different than those shown on the web.

I don't understand how they arrive at the various figures beyond reading what they say and accepting it and choosing the most suitable train for me. If there are supplements to pay, so what? My basic ticket is free so I'm not going to start complaining about any supplements they want me to pay nor am I going to choose a train just because there aren't any supplements to pay.

But I will say this one more time in case I haven't made it clear so far. Whichever train you want to travel on you need to get a ticket from the office before going onto the platform or getting on the train and pay whatever supplements apply. That way you will never have any problem with a ticket inspector.

Edited: 2:07 pm, June 09, 2015