BUSINESS IN SHORT

Rail-fare rises not ruled out

THE STATE-RUN joint-stock railway company, Železničná Spoločnosť Slovensko (ŽSSK), Slovakia’s operator of passenger rail transportation, said it cannot rule out increases in passenger fares from the beginning of 2011. However, the company is still consulting the option with the Transport Ministry which represents the state as a stockholder, the SITA newswire reported.

THE STATE-RUN joint-stock railway company, Železničná Spoločnosť Slovensko (ŽSSK), Slovakia’s operator of passenger rail transportation, said it cannot rule out increases in passenger fares from the beginning of 2011. However, the company is still consulting the option with the Transport Ministry which represents the state as a stockholder, the SITA newswire reported.

“We have not said yes or no so far, but we do not rule out the possibility,” ŽSSK spokesman Miloš Čikovský told SITA.

ŽSSK’s board of directors has not discussed the proposal to increase fares yet. The level of fares depends not only on the situation in the transport market but also on political assessment of the matter, mainly from the aspect of social acceptability, according to Čikovský.

“There you can seek the answer to the question of why rail fares have not risen for six years, even though costs went up,” he added, as quoted by SITA.

The railway company recorded a 2-percent fall in passenger number in the first half of this year, but revenue remained unchanged.

The number of passengers decreased in particular in international transport, since fewer Slovaks now work in the Czech Republic and in other countries across western Europe.


The company expects the number of passengers to rise again after the crisis ends.


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