Fines for riding without a ticket on Prague public transport could increase

The Czech Republic's Association of Transport Companies is pushing for an increase in the maximum fine for riding without a valid ticket. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 14.10.2023 12:45:00 (updated on 16.10.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

Fines for riding without a ticket on Prague's public transport haven't changed for years despite fare increases, but that could soon change, reports A new push from public transport operators in the Czech Republic is calling for maximum-allowable fines to nearly double.

Currently, fines for fare evasion on public transport in the Czech Republic have been set at a maximum of CZK 1,500. However, the country's Association of Public Transport Companies is advocating for an increase in the maximum penalty to 2,500 CZK.

This increase increase would not be universally applied, as individual transport companies within the country might choose not to raise the upper limit, citing varying economic circumstances. However, transport companies in major cities like Prague are expected to adopt the higher fine.

"Roughly five transport companies would benefit from an increase to the CZK 2,500 crown limit," says Tomáš Pelikán, chair of the Association of Public Transport Companies and director of Pardubice's public transport company. "It would probably be the transport company in Prague and other big cities."

In regions with lower living standards, a raise in penalties could lead to an escalation of uncollectible debts, causing more significant issues than income generation. While fare evasion in the Czech Republic isn't widespread, it poses a recurring issue, with frequent offenders often facing penalties.

For example, according to Pelikán, Pardubice's public transport company records around ten thousand fare evasion cases annually. However, they transport about thirty million passengers over the same period. The number of actual offenders is even lower, with many individuals repeatedly fined by inspectors.

Public transport systems are heavily used in the Czech Republic, transporting approximately 1.8 billion passengers each year. In comparison, rail travel accommodates approximately 180 million passengers, primarily over longer distances.

Addressing fine regulations is not the sole legislative issue concerning public transport that the Association of Public Transport Companies seeks to address. They are also advocating for the inclusion of electric buses in the exemption from renewable energy charges that trains, trams, and trolleybuses currently enjoy.

Around two years ago, these modes of transportation were exempted from such charges due to their environmentally friendly nature. Unfortunately, this legislative change inadvertently excluded electric buses, which do not qualify as "railway vehicles."

Although the financial implications of including electric buses in this exemption are relatively minor, the adjustment aims to simplify the system. Often, electric buses draw power from the same sources as trolleybuses, leading to the need for separate electricity consumption records for each type of vehicle to calculate the renewable energy charges.

Would you like us to write about your business? Find out more