Prague - Czech national rail operator Ceske drahy (CD) will operate routes between Liberec and Pardubice and Plzen and Most for another year as its bid was better than that of its rival Arriva, Transport Ministry spokesman Martin Novak told CTK today.
Arriva was highly interested in the routes on which it wanted to use Siemens Desiro cars, borrowed from Deutsche Bahn.
The ministry would not disclose the price bids.
The price was the only criterion for the ministry due to lack of time, Novak said citing a new schedule for the 2014/2015 season that comes into force in December.
The quality of services will be one of the criteria in the coming tenders, the ministry said.
A tender timetable for subsidised routes will be available at the end of next month, and the ministry believes Arriva will be bidding for their operation, said Novak.
Both lines were to be part of the first group of routes for which the ministry planned to put up tenders and enable private companies to bid for subsidised operations along with the state-run CD.
Due to delays in tendering and the approaching expiration of the existing contracts, however, the ministry wanted CD to keep operating the lines without a tender.
But Arriva sent its own bid for the routes´ operation to the ministry in June.
Arriva´s trains now operate on the line between Sumperk and Kouty nad Desnou. Last year it briefly operated the line from Prague´s Masarykovo railway station to Kralupy nad Vltavou.
If it agrees with the Stredocesky region (central Bohemia) on subsidies it would like to launch operations on the Benesov - Prague - Celakovice railroad. It also plans to take part in tenders for regional routes in Sumava, a mountain range separating the Czech Republic from Germany and Austria.
RegioJet owner Radim Jancura told CTK today that his firm will join a lawsuit against CD for compensation of damage on the Prague-Ostrava rail route in August. It is now finalising documents that will be part of the suit, he said.
Leo Express (LE), the other private company operating the route, filed a suit against CD on Wednesday.
CD cut markedly its prices after the firms started operating the route but its new ticket prices are below costs which harms the rivals, Leo Express said.