Public transport

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 is outdated and the modern tramways destroy them.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.

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.

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.

Public Transport in Prague changes: more of everything

New lines, new trains, new controllers. The Rapid company, which, together with the Prague Transport Company takes care of the traffic in Prague and the middle Bohemia region have announced more trains in the Prague integrated traffic, redirecting of the suburban traffic to metro station Haje.

Especially the suburban train traffic is going to gain 33% more connections, and most of the places where the track was modernized, like the track from Strancice to Radotin. During the rush hours it goes every 15 minutes.

New is the bus passage line S29, which connects Prague Vysocany, Hlavni Nadrazi a Strancice. Similar passage lines should became more common in the coming years. The complete news are private ticket controllers, who should help the traditional ones from the Prague Public Transport company.

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.

Tram Closure in Prague

Belehradska Street connecting Vinohrady with Nusle does not allow tramways through starting today, the closure continues until 27th August. The reason is the railway bridge over Belehradska street repair. The Bridge connects Hlavni and Smichovske nadrazi. The tramways to which it refers to are the lines 4, 6, 11 and the night tram 56.

The second place, which will have to do solely with buses, is the track among the stations Jindrizska and Lazarska. On the weekend 23 – 24th August the tram traffic will be interrupted due to filming works. Among Jindrizska and Lazarska, the substitute bus line X-3 will go instead.

Prague Underground 'Metro' Celebrates 30th Birthday

Hradcanska, 1978. Photo DP archive The first Metro train took in passengers exactly 30 years ago, from Dejvicka station to the centre. At that time, it was the deepest road that went under Vltava River. The tunnel among Staromestska and Malostranstranska stations is 87,2 metres deep, at the line there is also the deepest located station of Prague Metro – Namesti Miru, 52 metres. Even when we have all the new stations nowadays, this ‘Green line A’ is still in function and nowadays Prague wouldn’t do without it.

During the construction was used Soviet technique. It was one of the real Czechoslovak-Soviet constructions of friendship, because teams of both countries worked together.

When tunnels were blazed, constructors found many archaeological surprises. The station Mustek, located on Wenceslas Square, means ‘bridge’ in English, and indeed, hidden underground there was hundreds years old stone bridge, bringing the proof there was an important medieval route.

Prague introduces more night buses

For Prague citizens or visitors of the city, who are often going home after midnight, there is a good news from Prague Public Transport company – since 31st August 2008 there is planned a notable increase in the frequency of buses.

Also those who live in more distant parts of Prague and don’t nave any night buses at all, should get their night stations, and so the possibility of travelling without taxi.

To forget about necessity of night walks or paying for over-prized taxis will be newly possible in those city parts: Strahov, Nove Vysocany, Hrdlorezy, Zahradni Mesto, Skalka and Kosik. There is also new 50 stations, where the night buses are going to stop.

The card of Prague citizen makes another step

The Universal card of a Prague citizen called Opencard finds more users every day. Up to now, the card could have been used as a library card in 33 Prague City libraries, and as a pay card for parking in Prague. The Card of Prague citizen expands its functions; since now, it works as a prepaid coupon for Prague Public Transport, too.

The card is gained for free – it is only necessary to come for it the Adria palace in Jungman street. When someone wants to buy a year coupon for public transport, using the Prague citizen’s card makes it 475 czk cheaper.

This august, the Prague citizen card can be used as a public transport pass, it is possible to use it as a payment device for parking machines, in the next year, maybe as a mean of paying. The idea is that one day, it should work as a regular credit card, but there is still a long way to go.

Another Prague Ferry Finally Put on Vltava

ferry in prague Another ferries start to go to and fro Vltava river in Prague. After long waiting and planning, two new routes were finally put into service. They are called Privoz P4 and Privoz P5 and they should make travelling in Prague faster. Those who simply want to get from one bank to another don’t have to change trains, ferry going from Jiraskovo namesti to Cisarska louka makes it in 15 minutes the second one goes from Smetanovo nabrezi to Detsky ostrov, and it takes no more than 5 minutes.

These two new lines open now, and are opened until 31st October. Capacity at the first ship is about 50 people, on the second one it is 20, as it goes more often.

The other ferries go from Sedlce to Zamky, together with the one from Podbaba to Podhori go on historically proven routes from the past centuries, the other goes to the sport and relax center Zlute Lazne from Lihovar.

Metro In Prague Video from Cockpit

Prague Metro is something one remembers. The whole project was made in cooperation with the USSR, and so it looks up to it – huge, overlarged halls encased with an imitation of marble are undoubtedly impressive. There are three lines of Metro, always being lengthened, upgraded, polished.

Tickets are available to be bought from a vending machine, at newspaper kiosks and also via a mobile phone. When one enters the area, he has to validate the ticket otherwise he may get a fine of about 1000 czk (40€) one ride is worth 26 (two rides or a long one) or 18 (one ride).

But you know all that; what you want to know, of how does it look like when you drive one of these. And here, you can have a look:

Have you tried to buy an SMS Ticket?

If yes, you may be interested in the plain fact the Prague City Transport company keeps your number for 10 years. Apart from this curious fact, the SMS tickets became a serious business, which sells 22 000 a day. That, yearly, brings the Prague Transport Company profits of about 200 millions czk.

The SMS are kept for the case travellers would argue with controllers, that they bought the ticket. That doesn’t explain, why to keep the numbers for 10 years, but it makes sense. It is presented like a price for more comfortable buying.

The Office for personal data logically disapproves the doings – according to it piling up telephone numbers of people who didn’t give agreement to it is not kosher and started to investigate it already.

Yesterday Prague Transport Employees Strike

Why to demonstrate? The deputies of union of Prague Public transport company don’t like the state-owned company doesn’t reflect increasing prices of goods and services on salaries. They decided to show their dissatisfaction by blocking Jecna street, which is a very centre-located expressway, where about 60 000 cars pass daily. They used packs of straw for stopping the traffic from 1 to 2 pm yesterday.

The strike of drivers included tramways stopping at the station, but the Prague Public transport company was prepared for it; they had back-up drivers prepared and just replaced those who didn’t wanted to continue, so in the end only seven tramways stopped, or they moved dead slow. The bus drivers were more successful, as about 200 buses stopped at stations.

Taxi drivers also joined the strike, but compared to the state transport company workers they caused not just dismay, but also disgust. They demanded cancellation of limits for charges, so they could go deeper into being an abomination. They blocked the road to the Airport and refused to take customers in. Hopefully, their demands won’t be listened to, prior to helping those who need it – the state employees who really have something to complain about.

New Metro Stations in Prague to finally Open

Since Thursday 8th May 2008, at about 4pm, the first metro with passangers will stop at the brand new stations on the Metro trace C, going to Letnany. The trains will go in shorter intervals than now, that means every 115 seconds compared to present two minutes. Some bus lines will be abandoned.

The new trace on C involves three new stations – Strizkov, Prosek and Letnany. Every one of them has its original design made by the architect Patrik Kotas. To make the new 4,6 kilometre long track cost 15,5 billion czk (620 mil €) and it will make travelling to and from the suburbs easier.

Widening of footways in Prague

footway sign If you go to Prague very old centre, you know the situation – you want to make a picture of some sight, but than you hear a car horn and realize you stand in a street. Those of us who are used to other western-type cities of Europe, expect to walk or ride a bike freely in the old part of a city. The reason why it is not so in Prague is lack of by-passes, but this will soon change. At least according to Prague councilman Karel Kozeluh.

“We have studies ready for widening the footways for the next year already.” About 10 streets should be changed to footways in Vienna style – the street will be limited to two narrow lines, lifted to the level with the pavement. This will happen at the bottom of Wenceslas Square, as well as below the Central railway station.

What we, who prefer to walk or take a tram, should really look forward, is when the tunnel circuit below Strahov will be finished (2011) – the whole area by the river from the National Theatre to Rudolfinum will become a boulevard.

A new web to make traveling in Prague easier

dp page The Prague Public Transport company introduced a new web, which joins a lot of information which we previously had to look for on various others websites. The web has practically everything, one could need when travelling in the metropolis.

They have various information about transport – whether there are free spots at parking lots, information about fares, useful links, it is possible to take a look into camera system mapping traffic situation, temperature and speed of wind and also ‘Fun and Leisure’ section, providing info about Nostalgic lines, Cool tour lines, Transport to Zoo or beautiful Photo Gallery with new and historic pictures.

So, if you want to get from A to B in Prague for cheap, you know where to go to find your connections.

New Prague Tramways T15 Pictures

The new type of Prague Tramways, made by Skoda, have revealed its looks two weeks ago. Now, Skoda Holding have revealed new photographs of the T15 model series.

Test rides have started already, but the first time we will be able to ride in one of these will be probably next year. One T15 Tram costs 66 mil czk (2,5 mil €)

The tram is made by three joined units, which create space for up to 300 passengers. It is barrier-free. The limit for maximal speed is 60km/h, its interior is air-conditioned.

Passengers can vote on, which interior design they like the most. The one with comfy, fabric chairs, or the wooden, durable anti-vandalism version.

Pictures by Skoda Holding. Click for enlargement.

New Prague Metro Stations

letnany station under construction Construction of the Metro line C extension is progressing further to the northeast to connect the city center to the large housing blocks in Prosek.

tunnel The new track will be 4,6 km long. There will be three more stations (Strizkov, Prosek and Letnany) they are planned to open in May 2008.

Expenses are about 15,5 billions czk, the three stations take care of an area inhabited by 50 000 people.

Prague Metro building anti-terrorist protection

The whole world 20th March 1995 watched the news in shock. Tokyo underground passengers were attacked by sarine gas by a religious cult Óm Shincrio. Back then, the gas killed twelve people and health of 54 was severely damaged. Over a thousand of passengers ended in hospitals.

Since then, Prague underground worked on security system. In one year, the Prague Metro should become the best protected underground in the world. Devices installed should identify slightest leak of dangerous chemical substances and immediately warn police and Metro security.

Anyway the magistrate doesn’t want to reveal details of security system, as it is a matter of classified information. The public in Prague mostly doesn’t even know there has been security system being developed for ten years.

Sms Tickets Becoming a Hit

The sms ticket project has been working in Prague for just four months, but there are already debates, whether this way of selling will replace traditional paper tickets. What is for sure, the number of passengers travelling with sms tickets will grow steadily on, also because similar projects are planed to be realized by other larger cities in the republic.

The speaker of Prague Public Transport company (MHD) states: “sms ticket has really caught on in Prague. In average, 20 thousand travelers use it everyday.” The total of sold tickets is about 270 thousand. Which means – every 13th ticket in Prague is bought by a mobile phone.