The first LEO Express Sirius EMU is now on trial at the VUZ test loop in Velim. (Photo: Vladimír Fišar)

CZECH REPUBLIC: Leo Express has launched a pilot first and last mile service by partnering with peer-to-peer car sharing company HoppyGo. The open access operator has become a minority shareholder in HoppyGo and expects to expand the service to destinations in Poland next year.

Describing HoppyGo as ‘basically Airbnb for cars’, Leo Express COO & Acting CEO Robin Svaricek told delegates at the World Rail Festival in Amsterdam on December 5 that the service would be integrated with rail ticketing so that there would be ‘one purchase, one ticket’. The next step will be to launch ride sharing when someone rents a HoppyGo car, he suggested.

Echoing moves across the travel industry, Leo Express says that the ‘modern ticket purchase’ will combine taxis, shared bikes and cars with public transport.

  • In order to reduce its debt burden and free up funding for further expansion, Leo Express sold its original five Stadler Flirt EMUs to Raiffeisen–Leasing in August under a 10-year sale and leaseback agreement. The first of the three 160 km/h Sirius EMUs it ordered from CRRC Zhuzhou Electric Locomotive in 2016 is currently on test at Velim, and a second is due to arrive in mid-December. These six-car dual-system Class 665s are expected to enter service by December 2020, operating Czech domestic routes and international services to Slovakia and Poland.