Does the incumbent have an advantage in open access passenger rail competition? A case study on the Prague–Brno line

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Year of publication 2019
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Journal of Rail Transport Planning & Management
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Economics and Administration

Keywords Brno–prague line; consumer survey; the Czech Republic; open access competition; railway transport
Description Open access passenger rail competition in the Czech Republic has developed substantially. From 2011, it has been in operation on the key Prague–Ostrava route. In 2016, open access competition was introduced to another important main line: Prague–Brno. There is substantial evidence regarding the macro impacts on the development of prices, ridership, and market shares. There has been less investigation, however, of the micro impacts of open access entries on the perceptions and behaviour of rail users. In order to explore these effects, we utilized data from a consumer survey organized in November 2017 to analyse travel behaviour. The results show that the customers highly valued the newcomer's services, but they often used the incumbent's services due to its denser timetable. The vast majority of travellers agreed that open access competition has very significantly changed the level of services on this line. The main changes were price decreases and quality increases, especially for the incumbent's trains. The results indicated that the incumbent's services were used more often by older people, people holding loyalty cards, and people on business trips. The results surprisingly indicate that customers seem to have a preference for the newcomer and not for the incumbent.
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