THE LARGEST private train carrier in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, RegioJet, will enter the national long-distance transport in Slovakia after it got permission from the state-run Železnice SR (ŽSR) company. The first InterCity trains from Bratislava to Košice will start operating from mid-December, three times a day in both directions.

In addition the state-run carrier ZSSK will operate four pairs of IC trains, which means that there will be together seven IC trains to Košice a day, the Sme daily wrote.

The more varied offer on the route may affect the fares. The ticket for IC train from Bratislava to Košice currently costs €20-24, depending on how soon people buy it. If they have a loyalty card, the price is €16-18. Students pay €14, while children aged 6 and younger €5 or €7.

“The competitiveness will certainly lead to decrease in fares,” RegioJet stated, as quoted by Sme.

The company has already said it wants to offer tickets that will cost less than €10. Also the state-run carrier offers this sum, but only for trains running on Mondays and Wednesdays, and only if people buy a return ticket, as reported by Sme.

Except for the Košice-Bratislava route there will also be more trains on the Prague-Košice route. Currently there are three night trains and one daily train run by ZSSK. RegioJet also plans to launch operation at this route as of mid-December, offering one train. Another train will run between Prague and Martin.

Additionally, Czech private carrier Leo Express has also asked for permission to operate one pair of trains between Prague and Košice. The firm, however, has not signed the agreement with the state yet, spokesperson for ŽSR Martina Pavlíková said, as reported by Sme.

Source: Sme

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.