Flixbus announces domestic routes

The German bus operator plans to be number one on the Czech market

Competition in bus line between Czech cities is heating up. Flixbus is launching new routes from Prague to Brno, Karlovy Vary and Český Krumlov (via České Budějovice) as of Aug. 17.

Flixbus will add routes from Prague to Plzeň and Liberec as of Sept. 3.

The ticket prices will in many cases be lower in off-peak times than those of rival bus firm RegioJet or trains from Czech Railways.

In total, Flixbus will connect 17 Czech cities. “We want to become the strongest bus carrier on the Czech market,” Pavel Prouza, head of the Czech branch of Flixbus, told the media.

“Our newly launched lines are only the beginning, and our goal is to be number one on key lines by 2018 and to gradually integrate the entire Czech Republic into our network,” he added.

RegioJet spokesman Aleš Ondrůj told daily E15 that his company is not afraid of competition. “It is a normal part of the market. We will certainly won't stand by idle. We will do our utmost to continue to be the number one provider with the largest range of services and routes at the best prices,” he said.

RegioJet, formerly branded as Student Agency, has dominated intercity bus travel in the Czech Republic since 1996.

Flixbus, based in Germany, entered the Czech market in 2016 with routes from several Czech cities to international destinations. The new routes are the first ones between cities within the Czech Republic. Flixbus was established in 2013 when the German transportation system was liberalized.

Flixbus is known for its green-colored buses, while RegioJet's are yellow. Both offer WiFi and plug-in sockets. Both lines also have entertainment such as music or video screens, though this varies on different bus models.

Flixbus will have 19 exclusively domestic trip between Prague and Brno 19 times daily. Aside from the already mentioned routes the buses will also head to Ostrava, Tábor, Písek, Benešov and Jihlava.

Flixbus itself does not own any buses, which are operated by other carriers. In the Czech Republic, it partners with Umbrella Coach & Buses. Currently it uses 90 buses in the Czech market but would like to double that.

Flixbus prices between Prague and Plzeň start at Kč 69 while RegioJet is Kč 80, Czech Railways are from Kč 105.

Flixbus prices from Prague to Brno start at Kč 149, compared to RegioJet's Kč 210. The Czech Railways (ČD) train is Kč 219. Prices for RegioJet and ČD are lower for people who have discount cards or advanced registration online.

Some users say that the online system of Flixbus is harder to use than either RegioJet of ČD, though the system has been improving. On Flixbus, you have to order each ticket as a separate transaction, while on RegioJet and ČD you can do multiple orders at once. Flixbus also charges a cancellation fee.

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