How Fair are Krakow’s Transport Ticket Prices?

On January 1 2013, the prices of public transport tickets in Krakow increased for the third time in less than 18 months.

The 15- and 30-minute ticket options were scrapped, and 20- and 40-minute tickets introduced.

The cheapest full price ticket now available is the 20-minute ticket at 2.80zł. The discontinued 15-minute ticket cost 2.00zł. A single journey ticket now costs 3.80zł, up from 3.20zł.

Tickets with the old face values are no longer valid on their own but, if you have been caught with some left in your wallet, you can purchase 10, 30 and 50 grosz supplements from ticket machines.

Until August 2011, a single journey ticket cost 2.50zł. The latest increase means this fare has increased by 52 percent in 16 months.

Double-digit price hikes are unlikely to be welcomed by Krakow’s commuters, but how do the new prices compare to those for public transport elsewhere in Poland?

Direct comparisons are not always possible, since different cities have slightly different ticketing systems, but the graph below compares the cheapest full-price tickets available in Krakow, Warsaw, Łódź, Wrocław and Gdańsk.

Krakow’s 20-minute ticket fare of 2.80zł compares well with Warsaw’s 3.40zł, but is beaten by a fare of just 2.40zł in Łódź. The cheapest tickets in Wrocław and Gdańsk are .20zł more expensive than Krakow’s, but have no time limit.

Comparing single journey fares, probably the most commonly purchased ticket, in the same five cities reveals Krakow’s to be the second-most expensive in Poland, after the capital (below).

Looking further afield, Cracovians may be heartened to learn that they pay some of the lowest public transport fares in the EU. Basic, single fares in Bratislava and Prague are higher, and those in Berlin and London are many times greater (below).

London may remain a magnet for many young Cracovians, but they should be prepared to face basic, single journey fares on buses and the tube that are a stunning 700 percent higher than at home.

14 thoughts on “How Fair are Krakow’s Transport Ticket Prices?

  • February 2, 2013 at 6:16 pm

    Not really relevant to compare London to Krakow considering the significant difference in currency and average earnings, but still small comfort I suppose. Thing to remember, is that Krakow is Poland’s second city really, so of course it is going to be more pricey than other cities. But look at the quality of the new trams we’re getting here now compared to other cities. At least there is investment!

    • February 2, 2013 at 11:37 pm

      I have been living in Krakow for a while and consider the raise on the transportation really odd. Which quality are we talking about here? There are a few trams but in the last 4 years I haven’t seen really big changes in transportation other than the new tram lines. There is investment and of course the users have to pay for it. On the other hand see the quality of the buses. When I came to live here I knew what to expect. I eventually have traveled in some new buses. As for trams well I am very disappointed. Some of them are in a bad shape.
      None likes prices raise. I understand that the new tram lines investment has been a pig push to improve the cities transportation but I hope to see better trams (line 52 anyone ?) and somehow to see some buses in a museum.

  • February 2, 2013 at 8:11 pm

    Unfortunately Poland is going down the route of privatising all of its public transport infrastructure and facilities. The first stage is massive price hikes in fares to make it look profitable more investors then once it’s all in private hands you will get massives cuts in services and less profitable or non-profitable routes are cut from the timetable altogether. Personally I think it’s a massive mistake, Warsaw and Kraków’s roads are totally gridlocked at peak times and many times the only way through is on the trams. If services are cut then people will be using their cars more and the roads simple will not be able to cope.

    • February 3, 2013 at 9:57 am

      Um……..exactly what evidence can you point to regarding this alleged “route of privatising”? It will never happen and, in fact, I doubt very much that you can point to single city mass transit network anywhere that has been privatised. You are no doubt referring to the kind-of, sort-of privatisation of rail transit in the UK but that was inter-city transport, not municipal transit.

      The price hike in tickets here was just the Polish was of doing things – Need more money? Don’t cut costs or waste – just increase the price!

      • February 3, 2013 at 9:58 am

        …way of doing things, that is……

      • February 5, 2013 at 1:06 pm

        With the exception of London, all public transport in the UK is now in the hands of private companies. Do you think Stagecoach and Arriva are operating in Poland out of the goodness of their hearts?

    • February 11, 2013 at 7:57 pm

      You are absolutely right.
      Poland should not follow the path of Western Europe by privatising everything.
      It usually means that the quality will become only a little bit better, but against a much higher price.

      Because of the extremely bad air quality in Krakow

      they should do everything to make public transport more attractive to get people out of their polluting cars!

      • February 11, 2013 at 7:58 pm

        oh my name is a reaction to the air pollution.
        of course i will not leave Krakow because of more expensive tram tickets. ;)

  • February 3, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    Nobody pays cash for travel in London, the Oyster card is universal because its half the price.

  • February 3, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    A single bus fare on Oyster costs £1.40, that 6.7zl

  • February 4, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    There used to be a 3 or 4 day bus/tram pass that you could buy for multiple trips. Any idea what is costs and where the tickets can be bought from anyone?

  • February 6, 2013 at 10:03 am

    I am curious to know who is owning Krakow Post…
    It is a real big mistake to compare the european tickets prices without counting the differences of wage and purchasing power parities…

    Let’s compare it with the minimum wage :
    – France, Paris, single journey ticket : 1,70€ so it is around 6,80 PLN
    Minimum wage netto per hour in France : 7,39€/hour
    the price of the ticket is 23% of it.

    – Poland,Krakow, single journey ticket : 3,80 PLN so it is around 0,95€
    Minimum wage netto per hour in Poland (can even be lower) : 8 PLN/hour
    the price of the ticket is 47.5% of it.

    – UK, London, single journey ticket : 2.1 £ (if you buy first an Oyster Card (£8 including £5 credit)
    Minimum wage netto per hour in UK : 5,93£/hour
    the price of the ticket is 35% of it.

    We can conclude that the price is extremely high in Krakow even compare to very expensive cities with very good public transport like Paris or London…So it is extremely abused to conclude this article by saying “Cracovians may be heartened to learn that they pay some of the lowest public transport fares in the EU”.
    Cracovians should demonstrate against this robbery

  • February 14, 2013 at 11:06 pm

    زور كرانة تكت اة كراكوف


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