Regiojet responds to bus competition

The domestic bus service will be expanding legroom, speeding up WiFi

The battle is heating up between buses from Regiojet and newcomer Flixbus, which recently launched service between Czech cities. Previously, Flixbus only served foreign destinations from Czech cities.

Regiojet is a division of Student Agency, and the yellow-colored buses used to operate under that name but have re-branded.

Student Agency managing director Radim Jančura said he will be increasing legroom on his buses, in addition to battling the competition on prices.

"We will drop four seats from each of our vehicles to give them more space than they now offer. We will move the other seats and evenly distribute them,” Jančura said.

The change is not that easy due to the video monitors installed on the seat backs and also due to the air conditioning. Converting the buses will take several months.

That isn't the only move Regiojet has in store. “We will respond to Flixbus also by accelerating the Internet connection in our buses. This is a question of a maximum of two months,” Jančura said.

Flixbus, which entered the Czech market in 2016 with international routes, launched domestic Czech routes earlier this month and will add more on Sept. 3.

Pavel Prouza, head of Flixbus for the Czech Republic and Slovakia, said his company wants to be market leader on key routes by 2018.

Flixbus uses a flexible pricing structure, where tickets are more expensive the closer to the departure time. Regiojet's Jančura says that this is not suited to the domestic market as people don't plan ahead as much for short trips.

Flixbus was established in 2013 when the German transportation system was liberalized. It is known for its green-colored buses.

Student Agency has dominated intercity bus travel in the Czech Republic since 1996. The name change to Regiojet was in part because some people thought you needed a student ID to use the service.

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