Prague's Hlavní Nádraží will offer free drinking water to passengers

To access this service, passengers will be required to download a mobile application, which permits dispensing up to half a liter of water per day. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 12.10.2023 10:19:00 (updated on 12.10.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

The Czech Railway Administration (SŽ) has unveiled a plan to install drinking water stations at 12 railway stations across the country, allowing passengers to refill their bottles with water for free. To access this service, passengers will need to download a mobile application, which permits dispensing up to half a liter of water per day.

SŽ is implementing this initiative to reduce the use of bottled water in PET bottles. A tender for drinking water filtration stations was launched, with the startup Lokni emerging as the winner. Lokni already operates similar systems at several Czech universities.

Jiří Svoboda, the director general of the Railway Administration, explained that the project's goal is to provide passengers with a more sustainable alternative to buying bottled water.

"In the current situation, people don't really have a choice, and when they decide on their drinking regime while traveling by train, they usually end up buying bottled water. In addition, our long-term surveys and experience show that classic public drinking fountains are not among the preferred sources of drinking water, mainly because of their hygiene," he said.

Passengers using the mobile application will be able to refill their bottles with half a liter of water per day for free. Those who prefer not to use the application can purchase filtered water from vending machines located at the stations, with prices set to be more favorable than bottled water from shops or kiosks at the railway stations.

The first filtration station will be operational at Prague's Main Station by the end of October, with Smíchov station in Prague to follow soon.

The administration intends to expand the project to major railway stations in cities like Cologne, Hradec Králové, Pilsen, České Budějovice, Náchod, Děčín, and Břeclav in subsequent phases.

The water stations will be conveniently placed in halls or main corridors and will use carbon filtration in combination with UV-C LED technology to ensure water quality. The initiative is set to last for five years.

By introducing these drinking water stations, the Railway Administration seeks to encourage passengers to adopt a more eco-friendly approach to drinking water when traveling, and to fulfill its sustainable Green Railway strategy.

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