All city buses in Prague now have cashless ticket terminals

Buses now join Prague’s trams, metro, and cable cars with convenient sales of single-trip and short-term tickets. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 17.01.2023 08:40:00 (updated on 17.01.2023) Reading time: 3 minutes

Prague passengers can now buy tickets on board city buses via cashless self-service terminals. This brings buses up to speed with the city's trams and the metro, which have long since introduced card terminals.

Passengers can purchase single-trip or short-term tickets for 30 or 90 minutes or 24 hours, including reduced fare options, using a debit or credit card in the Europay, MasterCard, or Visa networks. Tickets are issued with the date and time printed on them eradicating the need for validation.

Petr Witowski, board chairman and CEO of The Prague Public Transit Company (DPP), said the terminals are another step towards more comfortable travel in Prague's public transport, adding: “I firmly believe that [the terminals] will contribute to further reducing the number of fare evaders.”

DPP has installed 1,200 of the orange self-service terminals in all of its buses, electric buses, and trolleybuses. Passengers can find them near the second door, regardless of vehicle type. The terminals have a color graphic touch display and a menu in Czech, English, and German.

The tickets are for use within the Prague zones, with the exception of the airport express (AE) line, which has a special tariff. Suburban lines will still sell tickets at the driver's window and accept cash or cashless payment.

Closing a gap in service

In the past, newsstands have typically sold bus tickets but with many of them closing in recent years, purchasing fares for city buses has become increasingly problematic in some areas of Prague.

Bus drivers on city routes stopped selling them during the pandemic and didn't resume even after restrictions were lifted. The PID Lítačka mobile application has gone a long way toward simplifying the process of purchasing tickets for many, but those who don't want to download the app have been out of luck.

“It has happened to everyone that they are looking for a newsagent at the last minute to buy a ticket. This will no longer be necessary because passengers can comfortably buy single tickets not only in trams but also in buses,” Deputy Mayor Adam Scheinherr, responsible for transportation, said in a press release.

Prague bus lines that are operated by carriers other than DPP should soon have the terminals installed as well. “We expect them to be retrofitted with sales terminals during the first half of this year,” Petr Tomčík, director of the Regional Organizer of Prague Integrated Transport (ROPID), said.

Over 14 million self-service tickets sold

Contactless terminals went into service in April 2019, and 1,942,753 tickets worth CZK 58.2 million were sold through them that year. By 2022, the number reached 3,682,288 tickets worth CZK 136.5 million.

December 2022 was a record-breaking month for tram ticket sales with 409,418 tickets worth CZK 14.7 million. After adding in sales via self-service terminals in the subway lobbies and on cable cars, in December 2022 the DPP sold 514,609 tickets.

During the entire history of the operation of all self-service terminals in trams, in metro lobbies, at the cable car in the Prague Zoo, and in the lobbies of the Petřín cable car, including the test phase, DPP sold a total of 14,054,083 tickets for CZK 454,275,291.

DPP started testing the terminals in trams in April 2016 and put them fully into operation in April 2019. They were installed in the cable car at the Prague Zoo in October 2017. They appeared in the first metro lobbies in March 2018, and in all lobbies in July 2019. The Petrin cable car got the service in August 2021.  

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