Dos and Don'ts: Public Transport
Official and unofficial rules for taking the tram, train, bus or metro
It almost goes without saying that you should ride on the Prague public transport system with a valid ticket. The full price list with all the pricing classes can be found here.
The two most basic tickets for adults are:
Limited - 18 CZK
20 minutes non-transferable on bus, tram, funicular and S line (overground) trains/30 minutes transferable to a maximum of 5 stations on the metro. Transfer stations count as only one station.
Basic - 26 CZK
Valid for 75 minutes on all forms and is transferable. You can ride on metro, tram, S-line trains and bus providing it's within the 75 minutes from the time you validate (stamp) the ticket. The time is printed.
Always be sure to stamp your ticket in the ticket-stamping machine. The fine for traveling without a valid ticket (expired, unstamped, or non-existent) is 700 CZK.
These tickets can also be used:
For regular travel, getting a monthly. quarterly, or annual ticket is significantly better value for money. However, to get an ID-protected pass you'll now need an OpenCard because since November 2010 DPP have stopped issuing the paper variety. They still print the transferable paper varieties, for which you don't need ID.
The metro pass is valid for the P, B and 0 region. So if you commute from outside Prague by train, you should check what is the first station in the zone and only buy tickets to there. Your metro pass is valid for the rest of the journey. If you use the train a lot, get a pass which is valid for more zones, up to five.
It may also be worth your while to get an inKarta. It allows for a discount of 25%, 50% or 100% depending on which card you buy. The information here is in Czech.
One confusing rule concerns the purchasing of tickets for trains: if the station has a ticket office (pokladna), then you're expected to buy it there. If not, you can purchase it on the train. However, if the station has a ticket office and you buy a ticket on the train you will be charged an extra 40 CZK.
Taking an intercity bus is not covered by public transport fares. You can buy the tickets from the driver. It is also possible to get a top-up swipe card from most bus companies, which you then top-up on the bus. The problem with these cards is that they can only be used for their particular bus company and one route may have several.
Asking for a seat
On the city transport, i.e. buses, trams, and on the metro, people don't usually ask if an empty seat is free. They simply take it before anyone else does.
For intercity travel, it's a completely different society. People will usually ask if the empty seat beside you (on buses) or beside or in front (on trains) is free. In Czech the question is, “Máte tady volno?” Rarely do people say 'no'. If they do, they will say “Tady je obsazeno.”
Eating and Drinking
On the metro, trams and buses, eating is frowned upon. On the intercity buses and trains it is quite common. Also, consuming alcohol on the intercity trains is permitted. However, you are experted to behave appropriately.
If it's a long journey and there's room, you are free to stretch out. Or maybe you just feel more comfortable with your feet tucked under you. Either way, you can remove your shoes. If you are lying down, you'll only be asked to move if people need the space to sit.
You can bring dogs onto public transport providing the animal is muzzled if on a lead or in a cage or animal carrying bag.
Phones on buses and trains
As mentioned in a previous article, using mobile phones is not really appropriate, though you will see younger people using them.
Giving way to trams
At the zebra crossing, pedestrians have the right of way. However, it is still a good idea to wait for the cars to stop. Some drivers don't always respect the rule.
Trams, however, are not required to stop. So if a tram is coming and you are about to cross, let it pass. It has the right of way.
Going to the toilet on the train
People are expected to use the toilet only after the train has left the station. This custom probably stems from the old open-air gravity-assisted toilets. However, it's also upheld for the newer trains.
Please log in to leave a comment or leave comment as guest