Prague public transport

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Prague trams

Prague trams

Trams have always held a romantic and quirky appeal for visitors to Prague.

Prague buses

Prague buses

The bus network of Prague serves a great purpose in connecting the static Metro and tram routes with residential neighborhoods and locations that lie between the Metro lines.

Prague metro

Prague metro

Prague’s Metro underground railway system is recognized as part of one of the top public service networks in the world.

Like any major city in the world, the task of moving the population smoothly and efficiently is a huge challenge for the public transport system of Prague. But unlike many cities, Prague has succeeded in developing an integrated, economic and user-friendly system that reaches every corner of the city and beyond. Carrying up to two-thirds of the population on any given weekday, the combination of Trams, Buses, Metro and Trains, along with the Funicular, is one of the best in Europe.

Although the circumstances may have been a little unsavory, and may have left the system open to numerous distasteful jokes, Ladislav Rott had the right idea when he suggested that while the city was digging tunnels beneath the city for sewerage in 1898, they should also be building an underground railway network. But Rott didn’t win the support required and a cost-saving opportunity passed. The idea surfaced again in 1926, in the 1930’s and 1940’s, but it wasn’t until the 1967 that construction started on the first underground station.

The Metro now runs three lines every day of the year from 5 a.m. to midnight. With 54 stations and 56 km (35miles) of track the system has the capacity to move 458 million people per year. On a daily basis, trains run every two to three minutes during peak service and five to ten minutes at other times. However, while it is the fastest way to move around the city, it is worth noting that for structural purposes the network had be built deeper than most similar systems, so the escalator ride up and down can seem to be the longest part of the journey.

On the surface, the Metro links with the trams, buses and intercity trains. The trams run twenty-four hours a day, every day of the year. On the 530 km (848 miles) of track, trams service every stop between three and fifteen minutes from 4:30 a.m. to midnight and every thirty minutes between midnight and 4:30 a.m..

With the volume of traffic and the associated pollution issues, buses are rarely allowed to operate within the city itself. Working in conjunction with the metro and the trams systems, buses service the suburbs and only the city district where the trains and trams can’t operate. In a variety of frequencies the buses also run twenty-four hours a day, every day, but there is never more than a thirty minute wait.

Although it could be considered more of a tourist venture than an aspect of the public transport system, the Funicular of Prague is controlled under the same authority. Originally, 1851, the Funicular was operated by a water overbalance mechanism, but has since been electrified. This railway system takes visitors and locals to the heights on Petrin Hill, 130 metres (423 feet) above Prague every ten minutes in summer and every fifteen minutes during winter.

Such an extensive transport system could only operate efficiently with a single ticketing system. To this there are a variety of ticket configurations available, but the common principle is that the ticket is purchased prior to travel and validated at a machine on the station, the tram or the bus. It is important to note that drivers neither sell nor validate tickets and there are significant fines, up to 900CZK ($US50) for travelling without a validated ticket.

However, on a system built for service there is even a way to buy a ticket if you haven’t had time before travelling. By sending an SMS from a mobile telephone, it is possible to purchase a ticket as a text message. When asked to produce the ticket, simply show the message and all is well. Ticket prices are shown below and it is worth noting that children under the age of ten travel free, but must have ID or a passport to verify their age.

 

Prague Public Transport Tickets

Adults and Students

Children (10- 15)

Single Ticket (75 minutes)

32CZK ($US1.75)

16CZK ($US0.90)

Short-term Single (30 minutes)

24CZK ($US1.30)

12CZK ($US0.65)

1 Day Pass (24 hours)

110CZK ($US6)

55CZK ($US3)

3 Day Pass (72 hours)

310CZK ($US17.10)

310CZK ($US17.10)

1 Month Pass

550CZK ($US30.36)

260CZK ($US14.35)

 

As a city of over 1 million people, with an annual international tourist population of over 2 million, it is no surprise that Prague boasts the seventh largest public transport system in Europe. Similarly, it is no surprise that the system operates efficiently, effectively and in a user-friendly manner.

 

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