Together for Climate-Friendly Access to Veszprém and the Bakony-Balaton Region

On the occasion of Europe Day on 9th May, we organised a round table talk on sustainable transport together with Europe Direct Veszprém.

Sustainability is one of the core values of the Veszprém-Balaton 2023 European Capital of Culture (VEB2023 ECoC) programme; it is important that our events are environmentally sustainable. As travelling to the venue is typically one of the most environmentally damaging activities, it is vital that as many people as possible choose less polluting modes of transport. In addition to environmental sustainability, the social dimension is also an ECoC obligation, ensuring access to cultural offerings for as wide a range of people as possible. We also seek to improve the accessibility of our programmes through favourable community transport options.

During the roundtable discussion with our strategic transport partners, we had the opportunity to report on our joint successes and discuss upcoming initiatives.

Photo: Europe Direct Veszprém

As part of the strategic agreement between VEB2023 and the MÁV-Volán Group, passengers can purchase a discounted ECoC ticket for the priority programmes throughout the year, with a symbolic price of HUF 2023. The ECoC ticket debuted at the grand opening ceremony, but will also be valid for Gizella Days (7th-14th May), the Hungarian Motion Picture Festival (7th-10th June), VeszprémFest 2023 (12th-16th July) and Veszprém Street Music Festival (19th-22nd July), among others.  

Another result of this cooperation is the new Veszprém-Budapest-Déli Railway Station express train that runs on Saturday nights. There is also the discounted Veszprém-Balaton ECoC24 day ticket, which was introduced on 6th May and is valid up to 24 hours for trains, Volán buses and even local V-Bus services in the Veszprém area.

Volánbusz also provides a great help for visitors to ECoC events who want to leave their cars at home, as night shuttles run from Veszprém to the region's district centres during the busy periods. In addition, thanks to the Volánbusz vehicle modernisation programme, carbon dioxide emissions of the bus fleet are reduced year after year.

The shuttle services of V-Bus help to avoid congestion in the centre of Veszprém for larger events, but also support community transport users to adapt their night timetables to the last night trains. Thanks to the close cooperation of the VEB2023 ECoC programme with V-Bus, people were able to travel free of charge on their buses during the Opening Ceremony, which attracted tens of thousands of visitors. In addition, from an environmental sustainability point of view, it is important to mention that their fleet consists of highly environmentally friendly buses and electric buses, and all vehicles are low-floor.

In addition to the development of transport services, VEB2023 ECoC also aims to raise awareness. A playful tool for this is the data visualisation installation of transport modes created by Gergő Sós in the colours of Hybrid Cycle. The installation, made up of colourful cubes, is designed to show the carbon footprint of the journeys of visitors to our events. We hope that such a playful way will encourage more people to choose green travel options throughout the year. 

As a further addition to our strategic partnership with the MÁV-Volán Group, which started in 2022, today's roundtable discussion also saw the announcement of Flix as our new European green mobility partner.

Photo: Europe Direct Veszprém

Just like ECoC title holder cities, the Flix team has always been keen to ensure that people wanting to discover Europe choose the most sustainable transport options. Thanks to the collaboration initiated by the VEB2023 ECoC team, we are working together to promote cultural exchanges across Europe by involving more ECoC cities. 

With Flix's extensive European long-distance bus network and its commitment to environmentally friendly mobility, travel enthusiasts can explore Europe's Capitals of Culture at affordable prices while minimising their environmental impact.

During the roundtable talk, Mátyás Maksi said that the European Year of Skills, which starts today, is also linked to green transition and climate-friendly transport, as battery production required by electric vehicles and building modernisation programmes draws in a large number of new skills. In the EU, a quarter of total emissions come from transport, and it amounts to a third when indirect emissions are added. The availability of the right quantity and quality of labour is essential to meet climate targets to make the EU's economy carbon neutral by 2050.

We are proud that, together with our strategic partners, we can do a lot to ensure that our visitors enjoy climate-friendly events and protect the ecological balance of the Bakony-Balaton region.  

The participants of the discussion were Vince Kruchina (CEO, Volánbusz Isc.), Tom Benedek Buchhold (Head of EU Public Affairs, Flix), Dániel Tóth-Maros (Personal and Partner Sales Manager, MÁV-START Jsc.), István Polgári (Managing Director, V-Busz), Mátyás Maksi (Acting Head of Representation, Representation of the European Commission in Hungary), while the talk was moderated by Krisztina Forró (Senior Project Manager, VEB2023 ECoC).


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