The coronavirus pandemic has had an enormous negative effect on the functioning of public transportation in Skopje and the Public Transportation Company-Skopje (Javno soobrakjajno pretprijatie – Skopje – JSP -Skopje). The long lockdown hours, closed schools, and colleges, many people working from their homes, including people’s fears to use public transportation, in a period of three months have caused losses for JSP-Skopje in the amount of 4.5 million EUR.

The assessed losses refer to the period up to 10 days ago, and have resulted primarily from the decreased number of passengers using public transportation, informs JSP. During the period between March and May 2020, 4.393.591 validations of passengers’ tickets were registered by the electronic ticketing, system while last year during the same period there were 16.066.407 validations registered.

The enormous drop of even 11.6 million passengers less for a period of only three months is the reason why this public transportation company states that this year’s subsidies approved by the City of Skopje in the amount of almost 8.4 million EUR will not be enough to cover the losses that the JSP will face with due to the COVID-19 crisis.

The public transportation company informs that the financial difficulties it faces in its work due to the COVID-19 crisis are the main reason why the new 25 eco-buses weren’t put into use throughout Skopje. JSP has to pay the VAT tax for the imported vehicles in the amount of 1.8 million EUR, but at the moment this enterprise cannot secure this sum primarily because of the losses it suffered during this period. JSP has requested to be exempt from paying VAT for the new buses i.e. to counterbalance the value of VAT, but the request was denied.

Otherwise, according to the data published by the Ministry of Finance at its open.finance.gov.mk web page, in the period between January and June this year, the City of Skopje has transferred significant sums of the planned subsidies planned for 2020 i.e. so far JSP had been transferred almost 7 million EUR on various basis. Still, these assets are used for the enterprise’s necessary day to day operations and the question is how much additional assets will be needed for PTC-Skopje if the spread of COVID-19 continues including the irregular working conditions.