Austria’s ÖBB boss Andreas Matthä is preparing Austrian train users and consumers for an increase in prices in 2023.
“We will increase prices in passenger transport very moderately at the end of the year”, he warned.
Matthä didn’t say by how much prices would rise but stated it would be “well below the rate of inflation”. Currently, Austria’s inflation rate is at around 9 percent.
The ÖBB chef told Austrian media that railways are confronted with massive electricity price increases and that the company would need to pass on part of these costs to the consumers. “We are under massive pressure”, he said.
The railway company produces much of the energy it needs but also buys around half of its energy consumption through long-term contracts, Matthä explains.
“This year, we do not have a giant leap in prices, but next year the developments will become increasingly noticeable,” the ÖBB CEO told the Kleine Zeitung.
One billion euros will be invested in the railway’s power plants by 2030. “In Obervellach, we are in a modernisation run; in Pinzgau, a pumped storage power plant is under construction,” Matthä said.
On the planned start of the Koralm railway in December 2025, he said he would be “disappointed beyond measure” if it could not go into operation at the end of 2025.
“We keep having delivery problems with different parts at many construction sites,” he added.
Regarding the consequences of the corona pandemic, Matthä said that there were still significant shortfalls in passenger numbers this year.
“We are still ten percent below the 2019 level in local traffic. In long-distance traffic, we are 15 percent above the 2019 level,” he said.