This paper intends to:
Introduce the main Czech railway service companies
Analyse the factors effecting their number in Czech republic
Give a first data result
Formulize new research questions
2. Research Focus Specification
The main focus is on the 3 biggest railway service companies that provides services for passenger transportation in Czech Republic. The companies are České dráhy, a.s., LEO EXPRESS, a.s. and RegioJet, a.s.
Our main research question is “Why do we have exactly three main railway service companies on the Czech railway infrastructure?” and based on this question we will focus on Czech market demand as the main reason.
3. Desk Research
In recent years every year more people are traveling by train and this trend continues even after RegioJet, a.s. and LEO EXPRESS, a.s. entered the Czech market. From the information found all three companies are increasing their occupancy of capacity and the number of served people every year. In 2012 České dráhy, a.s. transported 168.8 million of people, which was about 1 % higher than the year before. LEO EXPRESS, a.s. transported the first year of doing its business 800 000 of people and the next year the number reached 1 million. And the same was for RegioJet,a.s., which in 2012 transported 1,13 million of people and the next year the number increased to 1,64 million of people. In spite of that, none of those three companies used 100 % of their occupancy of capacity so there was some space for more people.
From all these gathered information it is clear that market demand for railway services is not fulfilled yet because every year these services are used by more and more people that want to travel by train.
4. Questionnaires with České dráhy, a.s., RegioJet, a.s. and LEO EXPRESS, a.s.
From the questionnaires we found out following summarizing answers (number of respondents: 1 per railway service company).
|České dráhy, a.s.||LEO EXPRESS, a.s.||RegioJet, a.s.|
|Occupancy of capacity in 2013||25 % for the whole Czech Republic, 50 % for the corridor Praha-Ostrava.||less than 50 %.||occupancy of capacity was 85 %.|
|Do you think that the market demand is satisfied?||In some places yes but in some places no.||No, there is a place for another railway service company, if they find out their target group||Not really. We amplify the capacity. There is still a scope for development.|
|What do you do in order to increase the market demand?||We are planning to use new trains, we also provides WiFi and we are planning some changes in our gastronomy.||Keeping the low prices and focusing on the loyalty of the customers.||We are still improving services in trains and we are adding wagons for ex. in Sunday´s trains to rise seats and to make our customers satisfied.|
|The number of transported passengers in 2013||169,3 million of passengers.||1,638 million of passengers.||about 2 million of passengers.|
From the questionnaires it could be said that all three companies are not using their whole occupancy of capacity and that there is still a possibility that the number of passengers would grow up. And another important thing is that all three companies said they think that there is still space for another railway service company.
5. Questionnaires with clients and prof. Ing. Václav Cempírek, PhD. (Jan Perner Transportation Faculty at the University in Pardubice)
Additionally we asked clients of those three companies whereby we focused on students of Palacký University (number of respondents: N=125)
Results: The clients prefer to travel by train and mainly with České dráhy, a.s. and RegioJet, a.s. Even if they think that there are already enough railway companies in Czech Republic, they would welcome a new one when there would be better service and lower price.
Professor Cempírek shares the opinion that the number of railway service companies is limited by the market demand because the number of external companies is quite high for a small country like Czech Republic. Cempírek said that in the corridor Praha – Ostrava there is no space for another railway company but he also admitted that in other corridors such as Praha – Děčín or Praha – Česká Třebová – Brno – Bratislava the market demand is not completed and people would welcome another company.
Via desk research, interview with various people and by questionnaires we did not confirm our hypothesis, completely. Market demand as we assumed, seems to be not the main reason for existing of just three railway service companies in Czech Republic, at least not generally. While we can see that the main corridor Prague-Ostrava has not more capacity for an additional service company, other railway lines in Czech Republic have more potential for higher frequencies of trains, better station and train services, and even more railway service companies.
7. New research tasks and questions
If it is not the fault of market demand, is it possible, that the number is limited by legislation of Czech Republic? Or is it limited by a slot management?
7. Main Links and Reference
http://www.ceskedrahy.cz/tiskove-centrum/tiskove-zpravy/-15819/ (České dráhy, a.s. press release)
https://www.sydos.cz/cs/ctvletpr.htm (Ministry of Transport´s quarter statements)
http://zpravy.e15.cz/byznys/doprava-a-logistika/leo-express-snizil-ztratu-o-ctvrtinu-vydelava-jen-na-jednom-spoji-1114328 (online newspaper article)
http://www.le.cz/pro-investory (LEO EXPRESS, a.s. website)
http://www.dnoviny.cz/zeleznicni-doprava/regiojet-planuje-na-letosni-rok-dalsi-rust-poctu-prepravenych-cestujicich (online newspaper article)
https://www.sydos.cz/cs/rocenky.htm (Ministry of Transport´s Transport Books)
http://www.buspress.cz/student-agency-regiojet-stale-posiluje/ (online newspaper article)
http://www.google.cz/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=4&ved=0CDEQFjAD&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.le.cz%2Fdownload%2F72591e9f00baa28c9e40e2392ff41914.html&ei=I4F7VI3ADsisPJTDgagP&usg=AFQjCNG4WNUd-RhET2RHpaghgwub4RWq8Q&sig2=PoZmq1VB-BrGuXlj9AZR6w&bvm=bv.80642063,d.ZWU (LEO EXPRESS, a.s.´s Annual Report 2012)
http://www.ceskedrahy.cz/assets/pro-investory/financni-zpravy/vyrocni-zpravy/vyrocni-zprava-skupiny-cd-2012.pdf (České dráhy, a.s.´s Annual Report 2012)
http://www.ceskedrahy.cz/assets/pro-investory/financni-zpravy/vyrocni-zpravy/vyrocni-zprava-skupiny-cd-2013_final_1.pdf (České dráhy, a.s.´s Annual Report 2013)
http://www.regiojet.cz/opencms/export/sites/regiojet.cz/dokumenty/RJ_vyrocni-zprava_2012.pdf (RegioJet, a.s. Annual Report 2012)
http://www.studentagency.cz/pro-media/tiskove-zpravy/2013-01-Za-rok-2012-prepravil-RegioJet-na-trase-Praha-Ostravsko-Zilina.html (RegioJet, a.s. press release)
http://hdl.handle.net/10195/36385 (Bachelor thesis)
http://www.ceskedrahy.cz/tiskove-centrum/tiskove-zpravy/-20579/ (České dráhy, a.s. press realese)