The State Railway Administration (Ukrzaliznytsia) is exploring the possibility of replacing trains with rail buses, which will be co-financed with local authorities, on unprofitable train routes. Yevhen Kravtsov, the director of reform, corporate governance, and property policy at Ukrzaliznytsia, announced this during an interview with the Interfax Ukraine news agency.
"This is a very good option. The experiment was successful in this regard in the Crimea, when a Polish bus was purchased with 50/50 co-financing with the local council. Such a possibility would be optimal and right," he said.
According to Kravtsov, the new working model should also reflect the situation in which local councils will understand that if they want to maintain certain routes for their constituents, it is probably not worth operating five-wagon trains (and others may simply not exist) on a sparsely populated route, and they should consider the option of purchasing such rail buses on 50/50 co-financing terms.
"This is a normal market mechanism," he said.