Prague's public transport schedules could resume normal operations by September

Metro trains service will be extended by an hour in May, but a return to midnight trains isn’t planned for now.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston Published on 22.04.2021 12:09:00 (updated on 23.04.2021) Reading time: 2 minutes

Prague's public transport system could return to an almost normal operating schedule as of Sept. 1. Metro operation could be extended by an hour in May, and holiday timetables could be introduced from July 1.

An exception to normal operation would be that even after September, the last metro would no longer be at midnight. It will end between 11 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. Night public transport would also not return what it was before the pandemic.

The changes will depend on the development of the pandemic as well as on demand from passengers, the Municipal Transport Committee decided. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, public transport is now running on a modified regulations and some connections have been restricted.

"From September, we can hope and believe in the transition to full operation," Petr Tomčík, director of transit organizer Ropid organization, said at the committee meeting.

The basic scenario for the schedule changes works with the assumption that there will be a gradual loosening of government measures, and that life will return to almost normal from about September.

Passengers have decreased during the pandemic due to people working from home, a lack of tourists, and other factors. Ropid Deputy Director Martin Šubrt said the number of passengers has been rising and, according to Ropid's forecast, this should continue in the coming weeks.

From Friday, April 30, the operation of the night tram line 99 will be resumed. The intervals of the night bus number 912 will be shortened to 30 minutes and on lines 913 and 916 to 60 minutes. From May 10, the operation of the metro should be extended by one hour compared to the current situation, with the last trains will departing from their terminals between 11 p.m. and 11:05 p.m. The metro has been shutting down at 10 p.m. since Nov. 2.

Until the beginning of the summer holidays, the connections will run according to Covid timetables, and from 1 July, public transport would be switched to holiday timetables that were valid last year. This means greater restrictions outside peak hours and on weekends, especially in bus transport. Tram timetables will be affected by the closure of Palackého náměstí on June 21 and subsequently the closure of Národní třída for scheduled track work.

Due to the pandemic, passenger numbers in Prague’s public transport on weekdays is about 60 percent of what it was before the pandemic. The biggest drop is in the metro, which was used daily by about 1.2 million passengers in the run-up to the pandemic. The largest decrease in passengers so far was last March, by over 80 percent. During that time, there was a strict lockdown only allowing people to go to and from work, go shopping, or make other necessary trips.

Passengers must still wear a respirator or nano mask in public transport. People are not allowed to enter trams and buses through the door nearest the driver in Prague.

In other news for Prague’s transit system, the price of single tickets will be increasing as of Aug. 1. This is due to both increased costs and the large loss of revenue due to the drop in passengers. Monthly and annual coupons will not be going up in price.

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