Free bike service and more pedal perks as Prague kicks off European Mobility Week

Events will take place in Prague all week long as part of this EU-wide initiative, but, despite the festivities, the capital is still failing cyclists. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 18.09.2023 15:47:00 (updated on 18.09.2023) Reading time: 3 minutes

As European cities gather this month to promote sustainable transportation options through European Mobility Week, Prague is highlighting the energy savings of choosing alternatives to private cars.

Running from Sept. 16–22, the annual initiative organized by the European Commission aims to motivate residents in cities like Prague to rethink their transportation habits. This year's theme – "Don't waste energy: Combine and drive" – takes on added resonance amid the ongoing energy crisis.

Prague, working with partners around the city, has prepared a full slate of events and programs to showcase the benefits of public transit, biking, walking, and reducing dependence on cars via pop-up exhibits, guided bike tours, commuting challenges, and more across the historic city center and outer districts. In addition, separate initiatives are encouraging people to bike to school and work.

Is Prague improving for cyclists?

The Global Cities Index, released in 2023 and ranking 90 global cities on bike friendliness shows Prague lagging far behind top finishers like Utrecht in the Netherlands. The German digital insurer Luko's Global Cities Index scored locations on infrastructure, bike usage rates, safety, sharing programs, weather, and awareness events.

Utrecht topped the list with over half its transport by bike and few accidents. Vienna finished highest for Central Europe in 33rd. But Prague trailed major capitals in not just infrastructure but theft rates, ranking 73rd alongside Detroit and Istanbul. Cycling comprised a mere 1 percent of trips on less-than-ideal paths scoring beneath Stockholm, Istanbul, and Zurich.

Despite the fact that Prague continues to rank low as a bike-friendly city, a shift in society’s desire to get on their bikes and ride is evidenced by the increase in renting of shared bicycles through Prague's public transit ticketing system. In July, around 73,000 residents used the bikes, which integrate with Lítačka cards allowing two free rentals of up to 15 minutes daily, ROPID reported.


During the first half of summer holidays in June and July, over 72,856 people rented bikes, up 39 percent year on year. Most rentals are for five minutes, with Mondays through Wednesdays seeing the busiest usage during morning and afternoon commuting peaks.

New and improved cycling infrastructure ahead

Infrastructure improvements slated to take place this year include the reconstruction of the Čechův Bridge tram stops to improve accessibility and rider comfort.

The project will create a new cycling crossing and the city's second "Vienna-style" cycling tram stop. The upgrades include completely transforming both stops into raised boarding platforms accessible to pedestrians and cyclists.

While the outbound stop allows all traffic, the inbound platform is exclusively for cyclists to pass without crossing tracks amid vehicle traffic. The changes aim to facilitate transit between the city center and nearby Letná Park.

Next month, construction is set to begin on a pedestrian and cycling path connecting the Kačerov metro station to U Labutě in Prague 4. The 860-meter route along Vídeňská and Michelská streets will include a 3-3.75 meter wide asphalt surface doubling as a sidewalk open to bikes. Advocates have demanded the path to link cycling routes since 2003, though a billboard delayed permits until 2019.

European Mobility Week: Free bike service and carsharing advice

  • From Sept. 18–22, in different locations around Prague, cyclists can bring their wheels to professionals who will carry out basic service operations (adjusting brakes, steering, shifting, re-centering the wheels, replacing a broken wire, defect, etc.) See the schedule here.
  • On Sept. 21, 2023, there is a Car-Free Day event from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. in front of the church of St. Wenceslas on Štefánikova Street in (Prague 5). The Association of Czech Carsharing will be on hand to provide information about carsharing from short trips around the city, via weekend trips to trips abroad. The association has created a useful map of car-sharing availability throughout the city of Prague.

However, some construction projects are actually making conditions worse for cyclists, says the AutoMat association, a group devoted to improving cycling infrastructure in Czechia. In addition, the group recently criticized the Czech Republic for its failure to establish low-emissions zones, despite having legislation permitting them for over a decade. The slow change is attributed to what organization calls "a lack of political will."

Useful English-language resources for better cycling in Prague

Prague cycle route system
General tips for safe cycling in traffic
Czech cycling road specifics
How to ride like a local in Prague
Source: Městem na kole (City by Bike) is an online magazine of urban cycling in Czechia.

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