Czech Railways reported a gross profit of 987 million crowns for the first half of the year, an improvement of roughly two billion crowns year-on-year. Freight transport also made a profit this year. What has changed and how will passengers feel it? The topic was addressed by moderator Lukáš Richtár on Thursday’s Our Česko program with Michal Krapinec, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Czech Railways (ČD).
Czech Railways has undergone a change in recent years, which, according to him, is one of the reasons for the profit. “Our passengers noticed this. The result is for the whole group, it’s also a team effort. If we took only passenger transport, it would be half a billion crowns in profit. ČD CARGO is the fifth largest EU carrier and one of the few European freight carriers , which is in profit,” Krapinec explained the good result.
However, ČD is facing criticism, because even so, they will raise prices by roughly ten percent from December. “All inputs are becoming more expensive for us, and very significantly, so we have to pass on at least part of the increase to the fare price to our customers in order to generate a profit, with which we can then purchase new trains for our customers,” he pointed out.
According to him, however, Czech passengers are often better off than abroad. “A passenger in the Czech Republic pays on average about two crowns per kilometer, a Hungarian pays 3.50 for the same journey, an Austrian five and a Swiss ten. This is the same type of train,” said the ČD general manager.
However, passengers often blame the carriers for train delays. “We do our best so that the delay affects people as little as possible. We perceive that the track needs to be repaired, but sometimes it doesn’t work out. Track repairs are handled by our sister company Správa železín. We are working on it, we understand the concerns and complaints of passengers. 98.9 percent of ČD trains arrive at the station with a delay of five minutes or less, that’s on time for us,” he said.
ČD transports a total of 160 million passengers a year and roughly half a million a day. “We transported four million more passengers year-on-year in the first half of the year. We have changed and passengers have noticed it, which means that it is already happening that they leave the car at home more often than before and prefer to travel by train,” concluded Krapinec.