GYSEV Zrt as a touristical transport service provider on the Austrian-Hungarian border.
GYSEV is a key actor of public transport in the West Transdanubian region, playing an active a role as a catalyst of green transport. For 18 years it has worked towards transforming the railway line into an intermodal passenger mobility hub, providing innovative services and infrastructure development to smooth out modal switches for commuters and visitors alike.
A series of innovative train fare discounts have been introduced in order to encourage and facilitate biking tourism.
(1) Bike tour tickets are available to the key cycling destinations of Lake Balaton, Lake Tisza and Lake Fertő for a price of 420 HUF (1.35 EUR) from anywhere in the service area and allows unrestricted access to trains on the day of validity.
(2) Cross-border trip discounts between Hungary and Austria: (a) international return tickets with free bike transport included; (b) bicycle (combined) daily tickets allow unlimited bike transport on selected Austrian train lines, with the option of getting off, taking a bike ride and getting on again; (c) group travel, one-day and multi-day tour options are also available; (d) in a joint initiative with Bringásvándor Nonprofit Ltd. a list of 1-day, all-age bike trips has been developed in the Őrség region.
In order to provide readily accessible real-time information, a trilingual intermodal route planner has been developed in the framework of the SMART Pannonia INTERREG AT-HU project, which calculates cross-border cycling route options as well.
Cca 600KEUR from own capital and Structural Funds support from Hungarian OPs:Transport OP 2007-13; Integrated Transport Development OP 2014-20; and ETC programmes:INTERREG AT-HU, CENTRAL, DANUBE.
GYSEV operates a marketing&tourism department coordinating its relevant activities with 2 employees.
Evidence of success
150% increase in nr. of cycling tickets (one route, 30 days) in 2012-2019
44% increase of combined tourism tickets since their introduction in 2015 to 2250 in 2018.
Annual group trips organised: 6
Number of cooperations with service providers: 15
High number of download of the trilingual route planner app
Decreasing petrol prices (-10%) and rising car nr.(+22%) in the region 2012-2018
Condition of cycling routes, uneven service levels around the region, incl. accommodation, maintenance.
Estimation of actual customer numbers was a challenge.
To establish intensive cooperation with service provide
Potential for learning or transfer
The success of these innovative fares provides a working blueprint for fostering sustainable tourism through railway development, including ripple effects into independent tourism infrastructure and service development.
Cooperative partnership between a rail company and local cycling and tourism actors is not investment-intensive, but a crucial pillar for success.
Policy tools leaving enough wiggle room for innovative initiatives in key infrastructure projects are a valid way of testing systemic change.