'Unbearably low': Prague considers doubling public transport fares

The fare has not increased since 2015; it still remains at CZK 3,650 per year, with a daily cost of CZK 10 for the basic annual ticket.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 05.02.2024 10:52:00 (updated on 05.02.2024) Reading time: 1 minute

Prague's governing coalition is debating proposals to substantially raise public transport fares as the city grapples with subsidies that officials say are unsustainable.

"Regarding public transport fares, I have several proposals from coalition partners, which include increasing the price of the annual ticket to double," Deputy Mayor for Transport Zdeněk Hřib told Deník N.

The annual pass currently costs CZK 3,650, unchanged since 2015. Doubling the price would bring it to around CZK 7,300 per year.

While hesitant about doubling fares, Hřib said some increase is needed. However, he stressed that transportation must remain affordable. Coalition partner Tomáš Portlík of the conservative ODS party confirmed negotiations are underway.

He said that Prague has among the world's lowest fares but also the highest subsidies, covering around 85 percent of operating costs.

“The year-round ticket, which costs only CZK 10 per a day, is extremely cheap in the context of Europe and the whole world,” Portlík said. “If we want to maintain quality or develop transport further, the discussion about increasing fares is appropriate," he added.

International analysis shows that, on average, fares fund over 50 percent of costs abroad, compared to 15 percent in Prague. The city aims to cut subsidies to 75 percent of costs by 2030 under its sustainable mobility plan.

Transport company head Petr Witowski has called the current fare “unbearably low,” saying closer to a 35 percent funding goal would be optimal for long-term stability.

Officials face balancing service affordability with tight budgets as subsidy-reliant services like public transportation struggle more amid rising inflation. No final decision has been made on fare levels.

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