Private passenger rail operator RegioJet is upping competition for the rails in the Czech Republic and Slovakia and now plans to launch a line between Prague and Kosice with various stops along the way for just EUR 9 one way.
The new service will make it cheaper to travel from Kosice to the Czech capital than it does to the Slovak capital Bratislava, which costs EUR 14. RegionJet is therefore proving tough competition for Czech rail, for example, as the Prague-Kosice trip with them costs around EUR 23, daily HNonline writes. The state-owned Slovak rail company will also have to react.
The regular train will leave Kosice at 7.22 am and arrive in Prague at 4.16pm, with the return journey at similar times, leaving Prague at 7.44am and getting into Kosice at 4.46.
The company plans to add another connection from Prague to Martin in central Slovakia, starting 14 December. Around the same time, it will start to operate the Bratislava – Zilina – Kosice line three times a day, stopping at major towns like Trnava, Trencin, Povazska Bystrica, Vrutky, Ruzomberok, Liptovsky Mikulas, Poprad-Tatry and Kysak, writes HNonline. In March next year, the company plans also a night service on the line.
RegioJet operates modern trains with comfortable seating, including multimedia touch displays built into the seats.
I’m not sure this is a good thing. In the UK privatisation of the railways has led to some of the least competitive rail service and most expensive tickets in the world. 27€ to get from Bratislava to Kosice is extremely inexpensive and I would question the intentions of Regiojet with its 9€ fare. Privatised companies exist to make profit and with public transport they only ever want to run the most profitable lines which in the uk has led to a lack of services in many under-populated areas. It is my guess that this company intends to run their service at a loss until such time as they can dominate and then the prices will sky-rocket and the choice will diminish significantly. The Slovak rail service is good and affordable and I for one am in no hurry to see private companies muscle in to grab their share of the action.