Czech Railways introduces single ticket for all train carriers, in long-awaited move

How will the new OneTicket system, which takes effect later this month, greatly simplify travel?

Samantha Tatro

Written by Samantha Tatro Published on 04.12.2020 10:30:00 (updated on 05.12.2020) Reading time: 2 minutes

Czech railways are introducing a long-awaited change: the availability of a new, single electronic ticket, mutually recognized by competing railway carriers, for all trains.

Until now, it has only been a pilot program with two routes running between Plzeň and Most, in addition to Česká Lípa to Rumburk.

OneTicket pilot routes.
OneTicket pilot routes.

Currently, passengers must purchase individual tickets for specific trains. The new system will simplify the purchasing process, especially when the trip involves several carriers on a specific route. At present, different carriers on the same route might not recognize each other's tickets.

Thirteen total carriers have signed a single tariff agreement with the Ministry of Transport.

This will mean added convenience for travelers who, for instance, miss a train and want to board via the next connection, even if it's operated by another company. Passengers will also be able to buy an e-ticket for the entire journey via the OneTicket mobile app (more details available on the app's English-friendly website).

The flexible OneTicket system is based on a per-kilometer price. Passengers can opt, for instance, to travel from Prague to Česká Lípa through Mladá Boleslav with Arriva Trains or through Lovosice on České dráhy (ČD). Since the second route is 8 km longer, the passenger will have to pay more, which means that having more options with the new ticket-type does not always mean it will be the most cost effective. However, there are prepaid options that offer discounts.

Using OneTicket (via their mobile app or online) travelers can choose from three different ticket types which will be valid across all participating carriers along certain routes.

Current OneTicket Pricing:

  • A One-time ticket (one way or return) that is valid for all carriers, calculated by the standard per kilometer rate that has been set by participating carriers.
  • A Route Ticket (ideal for commuters) that can be prepaid for a specific route, valid for all carriers. Travelers can save up to 50% by choosing from three ticket options: 7 days, 30 days, or 90 days.
  • A Network Ticket, valid for unlimited travel anywhere along participating network routes, valid for all carriers. This prepaid option can be purchased for a period of 7, 30, 90 and 180 days, all the way up to one year.

From Dec. 13, the new OneTicket will be available for the entire domestic network. It will expand slowly, adding more and more routes, in order to help detect early bugs, officials say, and avoid app crashes.

In the future, there should also be a discount plan available, much like the current IN25 and IN50 discount programs from CD, which provide passengers with cheaper tickets when they sign up and pay a yearly fee, that will apply to all carriers participating in the OneTicket program.

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