Austria’s national rail operator (ÖBB) and Vienna city public transport company Wiener Linien have announced new rules for Ukrainian refugees looking to access the country’s public transport for free.
So far, Ukrainian nationals could use public transport free of charge – they only need to show a travel document or national ID as proof of citizenship.
This has raised criticism from left to right, with some complaining about the lack of an Austria-wide and more permanent solution and others asking for more targeted measures to help refugees.
From November 1st, displaced Ukrainians will be entitled to travel within Austria for 24 hours from their arrival. Similarly, the Wiener Linien will also allow a journey within Vienna (for example, from the train station to an emergency quarter) within this period.
For additional necessary trips, though, people will need to use single tickets that will be issued in the state’s emergency quarters and the arrival centres.
This regulation applies until the end of the year, the City of Vienna said in a press statement.
“The efforts of the Federal Refugee Coordinator to find a uniform solution for refugees throughout Austria have not yet led to any result”, the City said. Vienna authorities added they demand that monthly tickets for refugees be settled with the Ministry of Interior.
“This would significantly reduce the administrative burden”, the city’s press department stated.