Travel

Big Problem of Prague Tramway Tracks Revealed

The Prague Public Transport got into a sticky situation – it appears the hundreds million investment into replacement of railway tracks, which have been taking place in the last years, might have been useless. The problem is the track gets worn away quickly. But why? Because of wrong construction of the track and tramway wheels! The other cities don’t have the problem.

Shortly after the new tramways Skoda 14T called Porsche appeared, speculations aroused its high weight and fixed bogie destroy the track. Now, specialist came with the conclusion, which is not pleasant – the railway, which was originally constructed for a horse-tram (!) is outdated and the modern tramways destroy them.

Prague Public transport company now stands before an important decision – whether to start working on new construction of tramway wheels and change them at all their waggons in the metropolis, plus to replace the whole tramway track, or to resign to repairing the tracks on an on. Both choices are very expensive and cheerless.

Theme:

Aeroflot can't wait to buy Czech Airlines

Only a few hours after the Ministry of Finance officially announced the tender for the new owner of the Czech Airlines, the company everyone expects to take over the Airlines didn’t wait and applied for the privatization.

“Under the European convention Aeroflot, which doesn’t have the headquarters in Europe, buy maximally 49% share of CSA. Within the privatization of CSA it is our aim to join with those financial partners, which has the seat in the Czech Republic. In present, we negotiate with a few potential partners, with the seat in the Czech Republic, the outcome will be known in a few weeks.” said the general director of Aeroflot Valerij Okulov.

Applications can be send until 23rd March, the new owner will be known until September. The whole pack of state stocks, which is 91,51%, is being sold.

Theme:

Prague Main Train Station Changing into Shopping Paradise

The reconstruction has been underway for more than a year now, and we can already see shops that has been opened, but that is only a beginning; the new shopping zone is about to take 3 thousand square metres. It should be opened in April. The building, by which tens of thousands pass every day is getting new function, significant for our age. It gets a lot more dignity every hour.

So what should open in April? New restaurants, drugstores, bank affiliates, florists or new toilets. The glass facade has been replaced, as well as the roofs, new nets and and lights. The former Art Nouveau booking hall, now a cafe At the same time there will be a new customers centre of Czech Railways; with ticket shop, left-luggage office and information office.

The entry hall reconstruction should be finished in spring 2010. After, the revitalisation of the terminal building will be finished. The other step is Fantova Kavarna – secession café with beautiful interior, which will take three years. Still, one should expect there will still be restrictions.

Theme:

Prague Public Transport Trains Gaining popularity

Public Transport Trains are still getting more popular in Prague. It has been established just a few years ago – when you hear the message ‘přestup na liky typu S a další spoje’ while in train or metro, it means you can change to a train, which can take you to the other side of Prague without stopping. While it can seem seem as a risk at first, when one takes look at www.idos.cz and searches one’s connection, one finds out it can be really fast.

To pay for the train ride is not different from paying for the rest of Prague Public transport – either one buys a ticket in a vendor machine, the same as for metro and trams, or use the increasingly popular sms ticket. Even though some train stations still have the communist feel and look, to be fair it should be said that there has been done a lot for improvement. And the Main Train Station in Prague doesn’t look like a station at Ukraine anymore.

Theme:

Czech Republic Very Cheap for the British

According to the investigation of Worldwide Holiday Costs Barometer, which was carried out by the British post company Post Office® Travel Services the Czech Republic is, after Hungary, the the second most cheap destination of 2009 for the British.

The common tourist costs in 27 countries of the world were investigated in the survey. The list include thinks like cup of coffee, bottle of beer, can of Coke, bottle of mineral water, tanning cream, repellent, box of cigarettes or a three-course dinner with wine in a local pub. The same list was more expensive in the Czech Republic, but only of £1,50. Thailand was third.

So it seems, the Czech Republic could be sought after by the British now even more than before. Not only the exchange rates and prices went positively for them, but the low-cost flight companies reduced prices as well.

Theme:

Tripadvisor: Prague Must Luxurious Hotel is Aria

Travel movement of the whole world is in a crisis now. Popularity of Prague hotels, none the less, grows. The five-star hotel Aria at Mala Strana (the Lesser Quarter) is, according to the prestigious traveller’s magazine Tripadvisor the most luxurious hotel of the world. Nevertheless, most o Prague citizens don’t even know, where the hotel offering view into Vrtbovská garden is.

According to a specialist it is not an accident that among the 50 most luxurious hotels are, beside Aria, other three Prague hotels in the mentioned chart. “The times, when Prague hotels offered low class services, are long gone.” states a Mag Consulting company representative. That is the reason, why among the hotels appeared also hotel Ventana in Celetna street, which has, beside a relax centre and a hotel library a crystal chandelier by Swarovski. Most of the hotels are in the centre of Prague, overlooking the best sights.

Hradcanska Tramways Closure to Prague Castle

The exit from Hradcanska metro station, the subway station closest to Prague Castle is shocking for many people. First, some of the doors a closed, so it a little like finding the right way out of maze. But when one finally gets outside, it looks like one got out to the middle of a building site. And this is the way it is going to be for a few months more.

The construction takes place because of the tunnel Blanka is being build. And if one wants to try for a tramway, one can try again. Directly from the place go the substitute bus line X1, in the night it is X56, in the direction to the centre only. The best advice is to find the directory table with the map and try to figure out where the bus stops. Unfortunately, the obstacles stay there until 30th June 2009.

Theme:

Prague Parking Zones Changes in 2009

Prague citizens and visiting drivers in Prague appreciate the change the Prague City Hall plans to do in March – the long forcible dogma about parking in paid zones in Prague 1,2,3 and 7 should change. Some streets marked with the blue strip, where now can park only the locals, are to be changed into ‘mixed’ zones this spring. So it will be possible to pay parking fee at the closest parking machine, or newly using an sms.

Something else is going to change as well though – when one will be going to park in the historical centre of Prague, one will have to pay in the newly established system of toll. It should be only at field test at first, but if will be useful, it should transform into fully operational toll system, which will bring more money into Prague strongbox, and less traffic into the centre.

Theme:

More Tourists go to Prague! Where do they accomodate?

Hostel Emma Prague still holds among 20 most visited cities of the world, whats more, financial crisis or not, visit rate of the city have even increased. At least Euromonitor International, one of the leading companies doing the market research, claims it. The data were published in December 2008 in the Top City Destinations 2007 chart. The chart ables to compare visits of world and European cities. Compared to previous year, Prague improved its position. Its position is on 19th place among the world cities, within Europe it is on the 7th place, placed better than Amsterdam or Vienna.

From my point of view, I don’t get where do people get money for accommodation in Prague, but quite probably the solution is much simpler than it seems – less tourists accommodate in hotels, more in hostels. Now, when the Christmas season is over, it is even cheaper, and still the quality is really good, especially when we talk about hostels in the centre.

Theme:

Pay for Prague Parking by Mobile Phone

Since April, the drivers who park in Prague zones won’t have to look for change in their pockets, a mobile phone would be enough. Into the paying sms, the drivers write their licence plate number and for how long they want to stay there. Also they will probably have to write in which city part they are in.

If police officers pass by, they will read the licence plate and find out whether the driver is a resident, or if he has paid the charge. The parking fee is going to appear on the statement of account from the mobile provider.

Another change is that some streets where was, so far, some parking ‘only for the residents’ is about to change into combined zones, meaning that visitors are going to be able to park there as well.

Theme:

Interesting New Prague Bikeline

The new bikeline running from Hlavni Nadrazi to Vysocany should open next year, opening some very new perspectives of Prague, as it would run in the track originally used for railway, which was now cleaned out – it is no longer necessary due to the ultra fast Prague track worth billions. But the bikeline is not cheap – it is going to cost about a few hundreds of millions czk.

The construction is going to go in two phases – in the first one will be only from Hlavni Nadrazi to Krejcarek, in the second phase it should go up to O2 Arena. Krivohlavek from Auto*Mat states that “to build bikelines from the former railway tracks is more than effective, tracks go mostly on flat surface, making biking there nice and easy.

The new bikeline would go through housing, as well as industrial areas, parks, but also through a tunnel, where one even get to a complete darkness, as it turns twice in one point. “It should be adventurous, but not dangerous” says Krivohlavek.

Theme:

CSA Flights no longer with Free Food

A flight in the Economical class of Czech Airlines is soon going to resemble a flight with low-budget air companies. Passengers on board of CSA are not going to get the usual refreshment – the brunch and drink, but they will have to buy it.

This and other steps are from the “Action plan 2009” introduced by the company management, intended for survival of the company in the critical time of lower interest in flying. The secondary gains from sales are supposed to help the company to sustain total income.

The change doesn’t apply to passengers in Business class, which doesn’t change, with the exception CSA announced that they have to fight their decreasing numbers.

The action plan also counts with strict control of passengers luggage weight, plus collecting of fees for overweight.

Theme:

SMS Tickets: Special Service, or hazard?

SMS tickets celebrate success. Daily, about twenty thousands passengers buy their tickets for metro or tram in Prague by their cell phone. It took some time before people got used to it, but the system finds more users every day. Anyway, there appeared some problems lately. Firstly, the sms should come immediately after one sends the request, but there were recently cases of the ticket coming as late as half an hour. The Prague Public Transport company object similar complaints are not very often.

The other dispute is not a new one – The Office for Protection of Personal data claims the service breaks the law, as it is ajar to the Law of Name and Description Protection, because the Public Transport company keeps the data like phone numbers from which the customers order for ten years. The company defends they need to keep the data in order to provide a tax certificate, or because of possible complaints. The Office for Protection of Personal data doesn’t like those 10 years.

Theme:

Prague? A Sexy City!

prague club roxy, photo from technocz Susan Breslow Sardone, About.com’s Guide to Honeymoons, has blogged about National Geographic Traveler’s list of “World’s Sexiest Cities,” asking readers to share their opinions. The result? Prague scored quite high. Why would it be so?

Today, Prague is a major destination for expats or would-be expats in search of the Europe that exists only as an idea in literature and pop culture. Prague attracts eloping couples and honeymooners with its multitude of romantic hotel hideaways. Individuals seeking serious nightlife can enter dark and intimate jazz rooms or party with a club scene that never sleeps. Many youthful backpackers experience their first real sense of independence in Prague, while established individuals savor Prague through its food, art, and shops.

Prague’s mystery, beauty, character, and history make it a must-see city. However, because Prague serves as the permanent or temporary home of sophisticated music lovers, spies, romantics, and the inspired, Prague’s inhabitants – real, imaginary, or historical – are what create its aura of sex appeal.

The fact is, we who live in Prague sometimes like this, so the article doesn’t lie. Read it in full here

Theme:

Food and Drinks at Prague Arport discounts the price

The Ruzyne airport start to, thanks to new owners, lose he stamp of an overcharged terminal, where people pay for food and drinks more than in the Four Seasons Hotel. Luckily it is the majority of shops, which belong to an Italian company, the rest stay at those terrible priced levels, meaning one pays many times more than in the city.

The Airest company, which is one of the Italian Save group discounted the prices most of the assortment, some over one third. Not everything was made cheaper; spirits at some premises are even more expensive.

How does it look like in Practice? For example the EU Café, the leading shop of Ruzyne expensiveness, was selling ¼l of water 115 czk. Now, at the same place the ½l bottle is for 80. Beer is also cheaper, if you take a look around, you can find 1/3 for 60 czk.

With Italian Airest also come change for the shops itself. They are going to look much like the shops, restaurants or cafés of the company in Italy or Austria.

Theme:

Prague Airport – Tourists welcomed there by the city placard

Those, who arrive to the Airport in Prague after December 08, are going to get welcomed by large scale placards, depicting things like the Charles Bridge, the Railway Bridge at Vyton, one of the Apostles from the Astronomical Clock, or the sculpture Ctirad a Sarka from Prague Vysehrad. The City Hall has selected winners of the graphical designs, that are going to make propagation of the metropolis.

The winning artist was Peetr Salek, who introduces Prague in its variety, showing the old and modern architecture of Prague, also in-tune with the moder architecture of the Airport. The presentation should show Prague as a friendly, modern metropolis, which keeps the cultural heritage and provides quality services for its visitors.

Only during the first half-year, about six millions passengers passed through the airport, and they should see some presentation of the city they just arrived to. Such practice is common all around the world.

Theme:

Preparing change of Prague Parking zones

The system of parking in Prague 2 and 3 is going to change. As the main city part faces much higher need of parking spots than the rest of metropolis, the rules set are too stern, they want to adapt it for local conditions. The main point of change are the blue zones, which are designated for parking of locals, but stay almost empty during weekends, meanwhile those coming for visit have nowhere to stop. That is clearly illogical, and many have already pointed at that.

The rules of parking zones, like the Prague City hall made them, are not in favour of other city parts as well, the main points of critique are high strictness and high prices. The places which should cease to be “blue zones” are being tipped by the traffic police officers. Also some places, like Albertov, should stop to be a paid zone completely.

The traffic returns under Vysehrad sooner

The Vysehrad tunnel is going to open for the traffic tomorrow morning. The closure, which was so much needed for tramway track repair, was ended four days earlier. The period of extensive traffic limitations ends, those twenty thousand cars return to their regular trace. On the contrary, the unique boat carriage stops going.

The term was shortened, because even when there was snowfall, it came later than the road-menders were afraid, so the frosts didn’t stop concreting. The concrete itself was of the special, fast-solidifying kind, which ables tramways to start going immediately.

The first estimations of the expenses is about 30 millions czk, also because there were three companies working non-stop 24 hours a day.

Theme:

Future Toll in Prague: Proposal of 120 czk

The charges for entering the old city centre in Prague could be more expensive, that was originally assumed. The representatives always talked about amounts usually stopping at 100 czk, but that is probably a history. According to the material of the counselling company Deloitte “When setting the charge to 120, the traffic is going to drop by 20% in the area” If the toll was 80 czk, the traffic would drop by 14%.

Surely that is a lot, but the total costs aren’t low either. The total, together with the necessary parking lots reaches above 4 billions czk. One of Prague representatives Witzany points out the system of one-way communication would be better, as the toll will only fill the city cash box with no effect on the traffic.

The Prague Mayor Bem is of the opinion it is too soon to jump to a conclusion. According to him, those 120 are just one of many proposals and didn’t want to comment it, which on the other hand means more yes than no. He concentrates more on defining who shouldn’t pay it, like locals etc.

Theme:

Changes In Prague Metro Interior

The projection screens return. They were installed in 2006, worked for about a year, to be again packed for 2007. The problem was, according to Prague Public Transport Company, their unprofitability. They displayed overall news from home and abroad, but also news about public transport, which the Metro travellers need. Also a handful gadget was in right corner, displaying the time until next metro arrives. They have now returned, the interface hasn’t changed, but this time travellers get also a potion of advertisements with their news.

The second thing to comeback are trashcans. These were removed from all the stations in 2001, when we were all too afraid of terrorist attacks. But as we found out, the stations became much more dirty than would be nice, with still no terrorists around the trashcans return this week, the same type as is on Ruzyne Airport.

Theme:

Previous