Public transport in Bratislava
Public transport in Bratislava is the biggest public transport network in Slovakia. It is managed by Dopravný podnik Bratislava, a city-owned company. The transport system is known as Mestská hromadná doprava (MHD, Municipal Mass Transit). The history of public transportation in Bratislava began in 1895, with the opening of the first tram route. Public transport in Bratislava is paid and travellers are obliged to buy their tickets before entering the vehicle. Revenue from tickets cover approximately 40% of expenses, with the other 60% paid by the city.
At the end of the 19th century, Bratislava (then Pressburg) was still suffering after losing the status as the capital of the Kingdom of Hungary. Now being a provincial city of political and economical mid-importance its development lagged behind its European neighbours. The main means of transport at this time was horse-driven and later steam-powered railways.
On 23 March 1881 an engineer from Vienna, Nicolaus Markovits, submitted the project documentation for a city horse-driven railway in Bratislava to the directorship of King's Hungarian state railways. Its path was from the Danube riverbank through the city to the Austrian state railway station. It was supposed to be connected to the Bratislava – Trnava wagonway, belonging to the King's Hungarian state railways.
In the 1990s, traffic jams became a routine occurrence in Bratislava, affecting public transport vehicles which became stuck at places like Patrónka or Prístavný most. A major contributing factor was the lack of a ring road, which today consists of parts of the D1 and D2 motorways in Bratislava. While two crucial bridges over the river Danube, Prístavný most and Lafranconi bridge, partially opened in 1983 and 1990 respectively, it was not until 2002 that the Prievoz viaduct on the D1 motorway opened, the D1 part Viedenská – Prístavný most was finished in 2005 and the Sitina Tunnel finished the ring in 2007.
The system uses three main types of vehicles: buses, trams and trolleybuses. Buses cover almost the entire city and go to the most remote boroughs and areas, with 70 daily routes, 20 night routes and other routes on certain occasions.
Today, trams (streetcars) cover heavily used commuter routes. Trams in Bratislava use a 1 000 mm gauge (metre gauge) with one-way current of 600 V (originally 550 V). Trams in the city have always been electrically powered since the system was opened in 1895; there were never any horse-driven or steam-powered trams in Bratislava. The city's tram network is amongst the oldest continually operated tram systems to the present day. The length of tram tracks in the city is 39.6 kilometres (24.6 mi). There are 152 tram stops served by 8 lines, numbered 2 to 9. The maximum speed for trams in Bratislava is restricted to 50 km/h, although this speed is lower in some parts of the network. 60 new fully air-conditioned and low floor trams were ordered in 2013 and are being delivered since 2014 for new lines to Petržalka and as a replacement for old vehicles. 30 of these trams are bidirectional trams Škoda 30T and another 30 are standard one-way trams Škoda 29T. Bidirectional trams are used in Petržalka (since the first phase of the new line will have no loop at the end) and also during maintenance works to keep operational as much of the network as possible. The line to Petržalka was opened in 2016 and runs over Starý most.
Today, trolleybuses serve as a complementary means of transport in the Slovak capital, with 13 routes. The first trolleybus service in Bratislava was established July 19, 1909, thereby making it the second oldest such system in the country after the one in the High Tatras. This first line ran from the Roth bullet factory on Pražská Street to Vydrica Valley. Its total length was 5,800 metres (3.6 mi) and it was served by seven vehicles. Due to technical and financial difficulties, the service on this line was terminated after six years, in 1915. In the period between the world wars, Bratislava was left without a trolleybus system. The first talks about its restoration began just before the Second World War.
Trolleybuses returned to the city on 31 July 1941. Line M connected the Slovak National Theatre and Bratislava hlavná stanica. In 1951, the first Škoda 7Tr trolleybuses appeared. In 1953, trolleybuses reached Trnavské mýto, two years later Šafárikovo námestie. Most of the current trolleybus network infrastructure was built before 1960. Afterwards, buses started to be preferred in Bratislava. Many trolleybus lines were shortened or cancelled altogether. After the 1970s energy crisis, the importance of trolleybuses increased somewhat. New lines were built and new vehicles were bought. Since 1982, the iconic Škoda 14Tr appeared in the city. Between 1960 and 1990 there were approximately 10 lines (No. 210 – No. 220).
During the 1990s, Škoda 15Tr trolleybuses appeared, and replaced the Škoda Sanos vehicles. In 1999, a new line to Národný ústav srdcových chorôb (NÚSCH) and Národný onkologický ústav was opened. The last line to be opened was a short section from the Patrónka junction to the Vojenská nemocnica built in 2013.
Most of the trolleybus services are now covered by new Škoda 30Tr and Škoda 31Tr trolleybuses delivered between 2013 and 2015.
Single tickets are available at pre-sale points such as newsstands, ticket machines and DPB offices and customer has to validate them in stamping machine on board the vehicle at the beginning of his journey. Customers can choose between 15-minutes ticket (€0,70), 30-minutes (€0,90) or 60-minutes (€1,20). All tickets are transferable. A 50% discount is offered to children, students, pensioners, while some other groups of customers such as passengers over 70 years can travel for free. These tickets are valid on all DPB lines within Slovakia, including night services (N21-N99). Prepaid tickets and free travel for certain groups of passengers apply on night routes as well. Tickets can't be bought on board.
So called tourist tickets are available with validity of 24 hours, 48 hours, 72 hours or 168 hours. Tickets can be purchased at ticket machines, DPB offices and other pre-sale points such as hotels or tourist agencies with prices ranging from €4,50 for 24 hours ticket to €15,00 for one week ticket. These tickets are issued on a same stock as single tickets and must be validated at the beginning of the first journey. No discounts are available. Tickets are valid on DPB service within Bratislava (fare zones 100 and 101), including night services.
SMS tickets are available to customers of Slovak mobile providers. SMS tickets can only be used on DPB services within the city of Bratislava, including night services, and are offered in three types: a 40-minutes ticket for €1,00, a 70-minutes ticket for €1,40 or a 24-hours ticket for €4,50.
Travelcards are available for 7, 30, 90 or 365 days and are issued within Integrovaný dopravný systém v Bratislavskom kraji (IDS BK; literally Integrated transit system of Bratislava region) and therefore are valid not only on DPB services but also on regional buses of Slovak Lines and regional trains of Železničná spoločnosť Slovensko. When purchasing a IDS BK travelcard, the passenger can choose its territorial validity - for this purpose the area of IDS BK is split into fare zones. The price is calculated based on the number of fare zones purchased. Travelcards are valid also on night services.
To purchase an IDS BK travelcard the customer needs a smartcard accepted by IDS BK operators. These are smartcards issued by DPB, Slovak Lines and Železničná spoločnosť Slovensko, a student card issued by selected Slovak schools and universities as well as Bratislavská mestská karta which is a Maestro PayPass card issued only to residents of Bratislava by participating banks. Customer can then load a travelcard at ticket offices of participating operators, some DPB ticket machines or via websites of IDS BK operators. Online purchase is only available at least one day before the first day of the travelcard validity - this is to ensure enough time for all operators' control devices (such as regional bus cash registers, or train conductor's control devices) to synchronize data about online tickets. Such synchronization is necessary since online tickets are not physically loaded into smartcard's chip when purchased. Instead, all control devices have database of tickets purchased online and compare loaded card's ID with this database. When purchasing travelcard on Bratislavská mestská karta, 10% discount from price of Bratislava zones is provided by City of Bratislava.
Tickets for animals, bigger baggage and bicycle transport must be purchased separately. A 15-minutes reduced travel ticket is used for this purpose and is valid for 180 minutes in this case. Transport of baggage not exceeding 60x45x25 cm, or of an animal transported in a container not exceeding these dimensions are free of charge. Bicycle transport is possible only on weekends and work holidays (whole day) or in intervals between 9:00-13:00 and 18:00-6:00 on workdays.
Some other special offers are also available, most notably discounted tickets available to customers of Železničná spoločnosť Slovensko together with train ticket to Bratislava, or free use of DPB services for customers arriving to Bratislava on selected EURegio tickets of Österreichische Bundesbahnen.
There is no ticket inspections when boarding DPB vehicles (except regional lines in some situations). Instead, random inspections by plain clothes ticket inspectors are being conducted. It is mandatory for a ticket inspector to identify themselves by a company badge and an employee ID when asked to do so. The penalties for failing to comply with the transport rules are as follows: €50 when paid by card or cash at the time of the inspection or within 5 workdays, €70 when paid within 30 days from the time of the inspection, €5 in case of forgotten prepaid ticket or discount document, €5 in case of unpaid transport of animals, baggage or bicycles.
If the penalty is not paid at the time of the inspection, the inspectors have the right to ascertain the passenger's identity by means of inspecting their ID card, driver's license, passport or residence permit. If this is not possible, the inspector will cooperate with the City or National Police with the goal of discovering the passenger's identity.
On international services operated by DPB (routes 801 to Raika in Hungary and 901 to Hainburg an der Donau in Austria), special fare applies when crossing border. Ticket costs €1,50 with 50% discount available to some groups of customers (such as youth or seniors) and is valid for one journey without transfer, irrespective of length of journey. These tickets are purchased from driver. Minor discount is available when buying return ticket. When boarding in Hungary, fare can also be paid in Hungarian Forint.
For domestic journey in Slovakia made on 801 services, standard domestic fares described above apply. All other kinds of domestic journeys (domestic journey in Hungary or any domestic journey on 901) are forbidden.
Special offers are available on 901 service such as weekly tickets or discounted tickets including use of S7 route of Vienna S-Bahn.
Dopravný Podnik Bratislava operates three types of vehicles. The current line-up comprises 481 buses, 168 trolleybuses (including 21 dual-mode buses) and 203 trams. The tables below list the individual models used today and in the past.
|Vehicle||In Service||Ordered||Decommissioned||Introduced||Fleet Numbers||Notes|
|SOR NS 12 Electric||2||16||—||2018||3001-3002||electrobus|
|The remaining 14 to be delivered 2018.|
|SOR EBN 8||2||—||—||2018||3901-3902||electrobus|
|Both vehicles delivered in January 2018 but are not yet operating.|
|Solaris Urbino 8.6||6||—||—||2018||1911-1916|
|Iveco Urbanway 10.5M||5||19||—||2018||2401-2405||Delivery of 19 units expected in 2018.|
|SOR NB 12 City||28||—||—||2017||1021-1030|
|SOR NBG 12 City||1||—||—||2017||2990||Runs on CNG.|
|Iveco Urbanway 12M||40||—||—||2014-2015||1041-1070|
|Solaris Urbino 10||10||—||—||2014-2015||2001-2010|
|Irisbus Crossway LE 12M||2||—||—||2010||3101-3102|
|SOR NB 18 City||182||—||1||2010-2017||1821-1868||#1838 decommissioned in 2016 after being heavily damaged in an accident.|
|Mercedes-Benz O530 Citaro CNG||1||—||—||2009||2020||Runs on CNG.|
|Mercedes-Benz O405GN||—||—||11||2009-2014||1501-1511||Buses were rented to combat acute deficiency of high capacity vehicles.|
|Irisbus PS09D1 Citelis 12M||35||—||—||2009-2010||2331-2365|
|Irisbus PS09D1 Citelis 12M TP||6||—||—||2010-2011||1031-1036||Variation adjusted for wheelchair users.|
|Tedom C12 G||29||—||1||2009-2010||1101-1110||Runs on CNG.|
|2101-2120||#2105 decommissioned in 2016 after a fire.|
|SOR BN 10.5||38||—||—||2009-2010||3401-3438|
|Mercedes-Benz O530 GL CapaCity||41||—||—||2008-2013||4901-4941|
|SOR C 10.5||8||—||—||2008||3301-3305||3 vehicles (8006-8008) are being used for driver training.|
|Iveco Daily||6||—||2||2008-2010||1902-1909||#1904 and #1906 decommissioned in 2017 after independent accidents.|
|Karosa B 961||—||—||9||2008-2014||4385-4386||Rented in two phases (2008-2010 and 2014-2015).|
|Karosa B 941||—||—||6||2008||1391-1394||Rented (2008-2010).|
|SOR BN 9.5||18||—||—||2007||3534-3551|
|Solaris Urbino 15 CNG||20||—||2||2006||1201-1222||Runs on CNG.|
|#1201 and #1216 decommissioned, both due to fire.|
|Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 416 CDI||1||—||1||2005||1900-1901|
|Vehicle||In Service||Ordered||Decommissioned||Introduced||Fleet Numbers||Notes|
|Škoda 31Tr SOR||70||—||—||2014-2015||6801-6870|
|Škoda 30Tr SOR||35||—||—||2014-2015||6001-6035|
|Škoda 30TrDG SOR||15||—||—||2014-2015||6101-6115||Dual-mode bus, equipped with diesel APU.|
|Škoda 25Tr Irisbus||6||—||—||2006||6701-6706||Dual-mode bus, equipped with diesel APU.|
|Škoda 21Tr ACi||1||—||—||2004||6401|
|Škoda 15Tr||19||—||26||1990-2013||6601-6623||#6617 has been used for two different vehicles.|
|6625-6644||#8146 used for driver training.|
|Škoda 14Tr||22||—||109||1982-2014||6201-6308||Several fleet numbers where used for two different units.|
|6316-6317||#8144 and #8145 are used for driver training.|
|Vehicle||In Service||Ordered||Decommissioned||Introduced||Fleet Numbers||Notes|
|Škoda 29T ForCity Plus||30||—||—||2015-2016||7401-7430|
|Škoda 30T ForCity Plus||30||—||—||2015-2016||7501-7530||Bi-directional.|
|ČKD Tatra T6A5||58||—||—||1991-2006||7901-7958||Usually used in couples.|
|ČKD Tatra K2||37||—||61||1969-2009||7085-7086||Most of the operational vehicles have been modernised.|
|7101-7135||Several of the fleet numbers have been assigned to two different vehicles. Only active vehicles are listed here.|
|ČKD Tatra T3||48||—||146||1965-2007||7301-7304||Usually used in couples.|
|7715,7717-7718,7733-7734||Most of the operational vehicles have been modernised.|
|7835-7846||Several of the fleet numbers have been assigned to two different vehicles. Only active vehicles are listed here.|
Operating hours is from 4:00 am to 11:30 pm every day. Operating hours night lines is 11:30 pm to 4:00 am every day, too.
- Dopravný podnik Bratislava – for information about the company running the Public transport system in Bratislava
- Transport in Bratislava – for information about the transport in Bratislava in general
- Economy of Bratislava – for more information about the economic background of Bratislava
- "Z histórie (History)" (in Slovak). Dopravný podnik Bratislava. 2004. Archived from the original on 8 June 2007. Retrieved 17 May 2007.
- "Trasy liniek (routes)" (in Slovak). Dopravný podnik Bratislava. 2007. Archived from the original on 6 May 2007. Retrieved 17 May 2007.
- "Pilotný projekt nočných liniek MHD od 1. júla 2007" (in Slovak). Dopravný podnik Bratislava. 2007. Archived from the original on 4 August 2007. Retrieved 26 July 2007.
- "imhd.sk SOR NS 12" (in Slovak). Retrieved 2018-01-19.
- "imhd.sk SOR EBN 8" (in Slovak). Retrieved 2018-01-19.
- "imhd.sk Iveco Urbanway" (in Slovak). Retrieved 2018-01-19.
- "imhd.sk #1838" (in Slovak). Retrieved 2018-01-19.
- "imhd.sk #2105" (in Slovak). Retrieved 2018-01-19.
- "imhd.sk Iveco Daily" (in Slovak). Retrieved 2018-01-19.