Bulgarian State Railways Temporarily Halts Ticketing System Overhaul

Society | June 12, 2024, Wednesday // 13:00
Bulgaria: Bulgarian State Railways Temporarily Halts Ticketing System Overhaul

The Bulgarian State Railways (BDZ) have temporarily halted the procurement process for a new ticketing system, as indicated by a record in the Public Procurement Register. The tender, initiated at the end of April to overhaul the ticket system of "BDZ-Passenger Transport," was suspended on June 6. This decision appears to stem from two complaints filed with the Commission for the Protection of Competition by "Siemens Mobility" and "Computernet Services."

Both complaints are currently under review by relevant authorities. The public contract in question amounts to over BGN 15.87 million without VAT. It outlines plans to utilize 30 vending machines purchased four years ago, which have yet to be put into operation. Additionally, the contract includes provisions for ticket sales via a mobile application and directly aboard trains.

We remind you that BDZ announced it's goal to eliminate paper tickets, introducing electronic ticketing options for passengers, following a recent ticket price hike of 20%. This initiative is supposed to enable travelers to purchase tickets using cards, vending machines, mobile applications, and other electronic platforms, aligning with modernization trends and technological advancements. Despite the tender's initial price of BGN 4.7 million, which has since tripled after market consultations, the contractor responsible for Sofia's ticketing system, valued at BGN 100 million, has shown interest in the tender while appealing a similar one from the previous year. BDZ's acquisitions, spanning five years, aim to implement a reservation system, mobile connectivity for onboard ticket issuance and validation, and a virtual private network service for their ticketing system. Additionally, BDZ's previous purchase of 30 ticket vending machines, left unused, contrasts with the new comprehensive order, structured into three distinct components over a 36-month period. This shift towards electronic ticketing underscores BDZ's dedication to modernization and enhancing the passenger experience through digital solutions.

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Tags: BDZ, ticketing, railways, system

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