Train travel increasing

Czechs prefer trains to buses for long trips

Interest in rail travel has been on the increase, while bus travel is declining. The year-on-year train travel increase for the first half of 2018 is the best in the past five years, according to the Transport Ministry.

Railways also performed well in freight transport in first six months of this year, carrying 2 million tons of goods more than in the first half of last year.

The main passenger increase on trains was seen by Czech Railways (ČD), which transported 89 million passengers in the first half of 2018. This was a net increase of approximately 2.5 million passengers. Other domestic carriers saw a year-on-year increase of about 900,000 passengers.

ČD added the most passengers on main routes from Prague to Central and Northern Moravia, and between Prague and České Budějovice.

Last year, trains carried 183 million people, 4 million more than a year earlier, according to Transport Ministry statistics.

Higher growth is expected this year due to increased discounts for students and seniors, which took effect in September and will be reflected in the last quarter’s figures.

The lack of truck drivers to keep pace with economic growth has made some businesses return to rail freight. This is not only from one large terminal to another but also to smaller stations.

Truck transport also increased by around 8 million tons, with domestic freight transport increasing and exports and imports from abroad dropping for the third consecutive year. This is due to drivers being unwilling to take long trips across Europe.

One reason is increased red tape, with France, Austria and Germany requiring additional documents to showing the drivers from the CEE region are paid the local minimum wage.

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