REGIOJET, part of the Student Agency group of companies, has already transported over 100,000 passengers on the line linking Bratislava, Dunajská Streda and Komárno, south-east of the capital, since launching operations on the route on March 4, the SITA newswire wrote on March 30. The number of passengers is double that carried on the route when it was operated by Železničná Spoločnosť Slovensko (ZSSK), the state-owned rail passenger company.
RegioJet hopes the number of passengers will increase further once it opens its own car parks at railway stations in Kvetoslavov and Dunajská Streda, something it plans to do in mid April. Parking for RegioJet passengers at these sites will be free.
“The number of passengers who have begun to use RegioJet [services] has very positively surprised us and exceeded our expectations,” said Marek Bičan, project manager of RegioJet Slovensko. “It proves that a combination of an attractive timetable, modern carriages, services and reasonable travel options has managed to reverse transport habits in favour of more effective railway transport.”
RegioJet is the first private rail passenger carrier in Slovakia. It has completely replaced state-run passenger trains on the 100-kilometre Bratislava-Komárno route. The Transport Ministry and RegioJet signed a contract covering subsidies for operation of the regional route in December 2010.
The deal runs from March 2012 to December 2020. The state will pay the private carrier €5.90 per train-kilometre. RegioJet plans to transport up to 1.9 million passengers annually.