THE LARGEST private train carrier in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, RegioJet, will enter long-distance transport in Slovakia after railway network operator Železnice Slovenskej Republiky allowed the company to extend its service to Košice.

“Our goal is to offer on this route better services, as our customers already know from long-distance trains on the Žilina-Čadca-Ostrava-Prague route with the new train schedule in December 2014,” said Radim Jančura, the owner of the company Student Agency, which owns RegioJet, as quoted by the SITA newswire in mid April.

Železnice Slovenskej Republiky (ŽSR) allowed RegioJet to operate three pairs of InterCity trains daily on the Bratislava-Žilina-Košice route as of December 14 of this year, when the new train service schedule goes into effect. The company wants to connect these trains with the existing long-distance service from Prague to Žilina.

Currently, RegioJet runs two routes from Bratislava via Dunajská Streda to Komárno and the aforementioned route from Žilina via Ostrava to Prague. It has 106 employees in Slovakia. The new route increased company’s demand for employees and RegioJet is now seeking for another 150 persons to work in positions of stewards, engine-driver, mechanics and electrotechnicians, according to the TASR newswire.

“We will give work to people living in regions with high unemployment for example in eastern Slovakia,” Jančura said in press release published on July 24.

As a result of RegioJet’s investment, the number of IC trains going from Bratislava to Košice will increase to seven since state-run carrier ZSSK will operate four pairs of IC trains. State does not fund operation of those trains and the tickets price is solely matter of the company which runs them.

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. However, the competition will probably lead to decreasing of prices, RegioJet representatives told the Sme daily.

The daily pointed out that previous promise of Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico to secure free train rides for students is not related to IC trains.