Prague 5 has city's smelliest public transport passengers, says new survey

Only about half of Prague's public transport passengers shower daily, according to a new Ipsos survey about the Czech capital's cleaning habits.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 21.08.2022 13:49:00 (updated on 21.08.2022) Reading time: 2 minutes

Prague's public transport system has been cited as one of the most reliable and most efficient in the world, but city residents have no shortage of complaints about traveling by bus, metro, or tram in the Czech capital.

One of the chief among those is something city officials have no control over: overbearing odors emanating from some of its passengers. In fact, the city itself has highlighted smelly or otherwise annoying passengers in a new public service campaign.

Despite being a long-known problem, the city itself has been unable to successfully combat odors on its public transport vehicles.

A pilot project brought air fresheners to Prague trams in 2011. But because of complaints that the fragrant scents irritated the allergies of some passengers, the project was quickly abandoned, leaving body odor as the predominant aroma on Prague's public transport.

Passengers themselves might help to alleviate the situation, but according to a new Ipsos survey on showering habits conducted on 1,000 Prague residents this month (August 2022), the trend may not be reversing any time soon.

According to the survey, only about half (51 percent) of Prague residents confirmed that they took a daily shower during the summer months. Worse yet, two-thirds of those who do take a daily shower said they do so in the evening.

That means if you're riding a Prague public transport vehicle home from work, the vast majority of fellow passengers have not had a shower that day. According to the survey, 94 percent of respondents felt that men were those responsible for the odors on public transport vehicles.

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Not all Prague districts are created the same. Prague 4 and 10 had the highest rates of summer showering, and respondents said they had the least issues with smelly passengers in these districts. At the other end of the scale was Prague 5, which had the least-frequent rates of showering in the Czech capital.

Many respondents also reported they they appreciate the chance to take a shower at work. According to the survey, 54 percent of Prague residents have the opportunity to shower at work, and 43 percent said that they appreciated the fact that their colleagues take a shower at work.

Showering habits in Prague may have gotten worse over the past few years. According to a similar survey conducted last year, Ipsos found that one-fifth of Czechs had reduced their hygiene habits during the coronavirus pandemic, with five percent saying they gave up on taking a daily shower.

The rates were worst in Prague. In the Czech capital, eight percent of respondents said they no longer took a daily shower during the pandemic, compared to three percent of respondents in Moravia.

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