The Belgrade city transport company (GSP) has bought less than 100 new buses over the past five years, the Nova Ekonomija magazine said on Friday, adding that the company has invited offers to lease buses instead of buying them.
The GSP bought a total of 95 new buses in the past five years, not including 2018 when no new vehicles were bought, it said.
According to the GSP business programme for 2019, the average age of buses in use today is 10.1 years compared to 2017 when the average age was 9.47 years. The document says that 38 buses were scrapped in 2018, bringing the total number of vehicles to 1,167 – 245 trams, 118 trolleybuses, 799 buses and five electrically-powered buses.
Nova Ekonomija recalled that the GSP has secured 10 million Euros and called a tender for the leasing of 70 buses while the Belgrade city assembly amended its budget to include a 35 million Euros loan to buy between 210 and 230 buses including the buses that the GSP wants to lease.
The magazine said that the GSP shares its bus lines with two privately-owned bus transport groups for the inner city area and with the state-owned Lasta for outlying suburbs. The company says that about 1,350 vehicles are on the streets at rush hour including 470 buses operated by the private groups.
According to Nova Ekonomija, the GSP ended 2018 with net losses of 1.93 billion Dinars (1 Euro – 118 Dinars) which is 16 percent higher than the planned losses. The losses are blamed on the fact that a separate company BUS Plus is in charge of bus passes and the fact that the GSP share of the money from bus pass sales has dropped from 59.6 percent in 2017 to 57.2 percent in 2018.