National railway operator Ceske drahy (CD) transported 137.5 million passengers in Q1-Q3, nearly 4 million more than a year ago, and the increase can be attributed to the 75-percent fare discounts for seniors and students, spokesman Radek Joklik said in a press release today.
The state-funded discounts, introduced in September last year, contributed about 50 percent to the 3-percent year-on-year rise in passenger numbers, CEO Vaclav Nebesky said.
The volume of passenger-kilometres increased by 7 percent as people travel more often and for longer distances, he added.
CD is planning to introduce several improvements as of Dec 15, when a new timetable takes effect. It will equip about 1,000 trains with sockets and the same number of trains will offer WiFi connection on daily rides.
It will also introduce the possibility of payment by card in all trains, providing its employees with more than 1,600 mobile terminals. Roughly two thirds of trains will be accessible for people with disabilities.
CD also plans to modernise its fleet, buying trains for about Kc40bn in the next five years. CD, the biggest Czech railway carrier, posted a profit of Kc441m last year, which was an annual rise of Kc179m.