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Ivan Bulajić, Director, Srbija Voz

Trains Are Once Again The Pride Of Serbia

At Srbija Voz, the vision and strategy of passenger relations is based on three pillars. The first is punctuality, the second is the attitude of train crews towards passengers, and the third is communication with passengers in real time. Srbija Voz is making the biggest changes in organizational and personnel strengthening, but also in changing the corporate culture

Our goal is to create a modern and efficient operator with transparent operations and high standards of passenger care – announces Director Ivan Bulajić and points out that this is the only way they can be ready for the entry of the private sector into the market, which will happen sooner or later.

Can we say that Serbia is one of the leaders today in terms of investment in railways?

– There are two criteria by which no country in the region can be compared to Serbia. The first is the total value of projects in the stage of preparing documentation and executing works in relation to GDP, which in our case is an incredible 8%, and the second criterion is the average age of passenger trains.

Srbija Voz is particularly proud of the fact that 70% of trains in national traffic are under 10 years old, which is considered new in the railways. With the delivery of 18 new Swiss Stadler Flirt trains next year, that percentage will be even better. Both of these criteria put us at the very top in the region.

The strategic goal of Srbija Voz’s operations is the return of as many passengers as possible, with constant improvement of services. Is that how to change the image of the railways?

– Passenger expectations have changed in the last decade perhaps more than in the entire previous century. At Srbija Voz, we base our vision and strategy of relations with passengers on three pillars. The first is punctuality, the second is the attitude of train crews towards passengers, and the third is communication with passengers in real time.

More than half of our passengers already buy tickets using the Srbija Voz mobile application. The application has almost 100,000 registered users

In the past few months, we have done a lot of work on improving the user experience. We announced the public procurement of new uniforms for crews of top design and provided them with training in cooperation with Air Serbia. However, perhaps the biggest changes we are making are in digital communication. We have set ourselves a high standard that every service information must be published on the site within 15 minutes on a 24/7 basis, and that we have no more than 10% of unanswered calls to our call centre.

More than half of our passengers already buy tickets using the Srbija Voz mobile application. The application has almost 100,000 registered users and is just behind booking. com in popularity in the travel category. We are really proud of this success.

The future arrived in Serbia with the first high-speed train. How does that future look to you today?

– The commissioning of the first high-speed line of 200 km/h Belgrade – Novi Sad was truly a huge technological leap for the railway and a completely new standard of service for our passengers. From March until today, almost two million passengers opted for this mode of transport between the two cities, but there is still a lot of work ahead of us. In the next two years, we shall get ready to open the remaining part of that line to Budapest, and through Hungary we will be able to connect with Austria and Germany.

On the other hand, the condition of locomotives and carriages on the Bar line is completely unsatisfactory. The age of this part of the fleet is between 20 and 40 years. That is why we have included in the plan for 2023 the procurement of eight new locomotives and 20 sleeping cars for speeds of 200 km/h, which will drastically raise the standard of travel to Montenegro.

We are making our biggest changes in the organizational and personnel strengthening of Srbija Voz and in changing the corporate culture.

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