Bulgaria Railway Company Drops Trains and Lays Off Workers over Cash Shortage
State-owned Bulgarian State Railways (BDZ) drops 38 trains off its schedule as of Monday due to a BGN 40 M reduction in its subsidy, its CEO has confirmed.
Apart from that, BDZ is also cutting staff in order to cope with the smaller amount of money.
Protests called in by trade unions against the move are expected in the coming days.
The measures are "inevitable", BDZ's CEO Vladimir Vladimirov told the Bulgarian National Television on Monday, adding the entity was obviously not a priority of the state in the past 20 years.
At the same time he reminded the national carrier was not as "social institution" and had to undergo severe cuts despite realizing that it would deprive a number of commuters across Bulgaria from their usual means to get to work.
Hundreds of smaller towns and villages had so far relied only on railway transport to commute, but now will have to hope new bus routes will be opened.
The reduced subsidy will force the state-owned railway carrier to cut 5 million train-km, or a total of around 140 trains, according to Darik radio. According to preliminary calculations, the total headcount is to be reduced by 1500 people.
Another batch of trains are to be suspended as of February.
From Monday, 38 trains will stop running and 10 trains will operate shortened routes.
According to BDZ, the company will first suspend “the most inefficient” trains which are used by the smallest number of people, with over 90 trains more to be dropped so as to allow the Passenger Services unit of state-owned BDZ to cope with its downsized subsidy.
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