Intercity bus travels decline 60 percent in 2020

Intercity bus travels decline 60 percent in 2020

Intercity bus travels decline 60 percent in 2020

The number of intercity bus passengers declined as much as 60 percent in 2020 compared with the previous year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and virus-related restrictions, according to a business group.

“Intercity coach services were initially restricted and bus companies were later allowed to operate at 50 percent capacity in June. We, however, saw a sharp decline in the number of the passengers in the wake of the outbreak,” Birol Özcan, the head of the Bus Companies’ Federation (TOFED), told Anadolu Agency.

Bus companies had only 30 services between the provinces per day when the restrictions were eased, while the number of daily coach services increased to 1,200 as curbs were lifted, according to Özcan.

In the runup to the New Year’s Eve, the mobility gained some traction, with companies holding up to 500 daily services between the provinces, he said, adding that the number of intercity coach services is declining to around 100 on weekends because of full-on lockdowns.

“In the past years, we would set out 1,500 services per day during the winter months, but now we cannot even have 50 percent capacity on our buses. Bus companies need to operate at full capacity to compensate for the losses inflicted during the outbreak,” Özcan said.

He pointed that restaurants and cafes at coach terminals remain closed due to the anti-virus measures. “This is not a very convenient situation for passengers with children as they have to wait outside the terminals. That is why we demand at least restaurants and cafes reopen,” Özcan added.

He also said that they requested an increase in ticket prices amid the hikes in bridge and highway tolls which were recently introduced.