On 1 September 2018, Government Regulation No. 02/2018 of the Ministry of Finance of the Czech Republic, which stipulates the travel fare discount for youngest and oldest bus and train passengers throughout the Czech Republic (excluding City Public Transport) entered into force. The discount is 75% of the full (normal) fare and is intended for children, students and seniors. The discount can be utilised year-round without any time limit.
- Digital form of the ISIC card (that can be found in ISIC mobile application) is accepted by public transport as a proof to acquire 75% discount on a fare.
Who is entitled to the 75% discount from September?
All passengers aged 6 to 18 (till the day prior to their 18th birthday) Pupils and students aged 18 to 26 (till the day prior to their 26th birthday) who are attending primary school or are “systematically preparing for future occupations through study at secondary school, conservatory, college, engaged in full-time studies at university in the Czech Republic or studies that by their content and scope are equivalent to studies at these schools, or have similar status abroad”.
How is an entitlement to discount proven?
Passengers aged 6 to 15 do not prove entitlement to the discount. Passengers aged 15 to 18 must show their ISIC cards , or their pupil card or valid official personal identification document, which contains the holder’s photograph or digitally processed semblance, name and surname as well as their date of birth (NRC). Pupils and students aged 18 to 26 prove their identity with the ISIC student’s card or pupil card including the holder’s current photograph, name and surname, date of birth and name of the school. For all age groups, the transport operator may also accept proof of age using a card issued by the transporter or a card issued within the scope of the given integrated transport system including electronic media.
- It applies to all trains of all transport operators in the Czech Republic, i.e., not only Czech Railways, but also the private transport operators such as RegioJet, Leo Express, GW Train Regio and Arriva.
- The discount only applies to inland transport (it may apply to a train with a foreign destination, but the discount only applies up to the last station before the border at which a passenger may get-off the train – for instance, on a train from Prague to Berlin the discount only applies to travel between Prague and Děčín; on the contrary, for connections from abroad, it applies from the first regular station in the Czech Republic).
- The discount does not apply to extraordinary or historical trains in which even the standard passengers pay special (mostly higher) fares.
- The operators may also exclude some specific connections from the discount system in order to prevent their overload, particularly during peak times. None of the transport operators have as yet requested such an exemption.
- The discount only applies to Second Class fares. The discount does not apply to First Class fares.
- In the case of RegioJet, the discount applies to the Standard, Relax, or Low-cost tariffs (the discount does not apply to Business Class).
- In the case of Leo Express, the discount applies to Economy class (not Business or Premium).
- It applies to all regular connections – apart from City Public Transport connections that do not transcend the city limits.
- Practically among all the transport operators in the Czech Republic.
- Only for inland transport (it may apply to a connection to a foreign destination, but the discount only applies up to the last point before the border at which a passenger may get-off; on the contrary, for connections from abroad, the discount applies from the first regular stop in the Czech Republic).
- Bus operators may also exclude some specific connections from the discount system in order to prevent their overload, particularly during peak times – none of the operators have as yet utilised this option.
- This 75% discount ordered by the State does not apply to City Public Transport. Connections that transcend the city limits are an exception.
- For connections transcending the city limits, the State discount applies from or to the first stop in the territory of the city, or from (to) the transfer stop between the suburban transport and City Public Transport – not to the continued journey within the city.
- Some regions and cities have already decided to further extend the 75% discount to transport within the city and will thus pay above the limit of the State subsidy. A uniform system shall thus apply from September in the City Public Transport of the Liberec region (Liberec, Jablonec n. N., Turnov, Česká Lípa) and the Ústí region (Ústí n. L, Děčín, Teplice, Chomutov, Jirkov, Litvínov, Most, Bílina, Varnsdorf).
- It is a 75% discount on the full (normal) fare, i.e., on the basic tariff price.
- Students may get an unpleasant surprise because in some cases they shall travel at a quarter of the fare that they consider to be normal on the given route. Examples are the bargain offers of Czech Railways, which have practically become the standard for travel between selected cities – especially where the national transport operator has battled against its bus competitors.
- For instance, on the train between Prague and Plzeň, a passenger pays about CZK 100 without discount, with the most common In-card they pay about CZK 80, while the basic tariff rate according to the kilometres travelled is CZK 165. The discount for youth was thus calculated as 75 percent of this amount. They will thus not travel at a cost of CZK 20 (from CZK 80), but at a cost CZK 42 (from CZK 165).
- From Saturday, 1 September 2018, i.e., already from the end of the last holiday weekend.
- For pupils and students (fulfilling other conditions) regardless of whether the school year or holiday is in progress. The discount is not restricted to the route between the place of residence and study.
- RegioJet is already offering tickets for September with the new 75 percent discount for its trains and buses.
- Other big transport operators (FlixBus, Arriva and Leo Express) are preparing to start pre-sales during August.
- Czech Railways will start selling the discounted tickets from 1 September, i.e., simultaneously with the effective date of the new tariff (and the price order of the Ministry of Finance).