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Factsheet for measure HU-2023-18/3201 Updated – measures in Hungary

Discount regional public transport passes

Vármegyei és országbérlet

Country Hungary , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 01 May 2023
Context Green Transition, Cost of Living Crisis
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Promoting the economic, labour market and social recovery into a green future
– Support for other basic items (e.g., food, housing, public transport, medicines)
Author Nóra Krokovay (KOPINT-Tárki) and Eurofound
Measure added 05 June 2023 (updated 25 April 2024)

Background information

Under government decree 91/2023 (23 March 2023) which regards transport-related law amendments, the government introduced new passes for regional trains and coaches at a flat price. The measure is intended to help people, especially commuters, save money on transportation. This is important in the wake of increased fuel prices and the recent abolishment of the price cap on fuel (in the EU PolicyWatch database) .

Content of measure

The country pass offers unlimited travel on basic train and coach services within Hungary at a cost of HUF 18,900 (€51) a month, while county passes are HUF 9,450 (€25) a month for each of the 19 counties purchased. A country pass is viable for travel through more than one county. Students in standard, full-time education (including university) get a discount of 90% on both types of tickets. The new passes are not valid on some fast trains where a supplementary fare applies. There is a detailed fare-finder page where travellers can read where the new pass is eligible.

Employers who by law (government decree 39/2010) are obligated to refund at least 86% of the cost of transportation to work, may choose to buy one of the new passes for their employees instead to fulfil this obligation.


The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

01 March 2024

Under a new system of tariffs in force from 1 March 2024 and published on the website, the following target groups are able to travel free of charge (previously they had a 90% discount): ethnic Hungarians from neighbouring countries who have the Hungarian Card; children aged 6-14, people living with a disability, pensioners even if under the pension age of 65, minors in state care. Additional changes introduce new, lower priced monthly passes and daily travel cards, regional passes for unlimited travel within a region, etc. which reduce the cost of travel for passengers

Use of measure

National railways MÁV said the measure could help families save 'tens of thousands of forints' on their monthly transportation cost, if both parents and their children are regularly commuting to their workplace or school. In addition, the discounted passes serve to support 'recreational and family visits', reports, citing a MÁV statement. Some 360,000 county and country passes were sold by the end of May, a ministry official said, adding that the government aims to 'strengthen public mobility'. The government will compensate the loss of ticket sales revenue to MÁV by HUF 8 billion (€21.05 million) this year, mé reported. According to the economic news website, the new tariffs will cost the state HUF 30 billion (€76.3m) in compensation to be paid to railway and coach companies, which are also state owned, instead of the HUF 1 billion cited by the Ministry for Transport. The state compensation has been raised from 20% of the cost to 53.5% for coach and from 30% to 53.5% for railway travel. Free travel could benefit 900,000 Hungarian Card holders, 280,000 disabled, 1.7 million children and students and about 300,000 pensioners and other beneficiaries.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Employees in standard employment
Does not apply to businesses Applies to all citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role No involvement No involvement
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: N/A


The new passes were planned and designed by Lóránd Bói, deputy state secretary at the new Ministry for Construction and Transport, and his colleague, Zsolt Hegyi, who is also deputy CEO of railways MÁV-START, reported. Asked why social partners were not involved in the planning, Bói said it was not necessary, as the new passes are not replacing any old fares, those are still available.

Views and reactions

The Association of Urban and Suburban Transport (VEKE) criticised the measure for failing to incorporate city transport. Head of VEKE, Lajos Dorner said the move was not as professionally-designed as, for example, in Germany, where local transportation was integrated. István Dobi, the head of Solidarity Coach Transport Trade Union (Szolidaritás Autóbusz Közlekedési Szakszervezet - SZAKSZ) said the new passes did not pose problems for the sector, as the state compensation would finance it. János Meleg, head of Vasutasok – Railway Trade Union VSZ, said that train travel dropped by 30% during COVID-19, so the new passes could help reattract customers to rail travel.

Sectors and occupations

    • Economic area Sector (NACE level 2)
      H - Transportation And Storage H49 Land transport and transport via pipelines

This case is not occupation-specific.



Eurofound (2023), Discount regional public transport passes, measure HU-2023-18/3201 (measures in Hungary), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.