Facing center or straight ahead? Praguers can now vote on metro seating

Metro passenger can answer 12 questions to help determine the future configuration of metro seating.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston Published on 14.04.2022 16:00:00 (updated on 14.04.2022) Reading time: 2 minutes

Which way should single seats in Prague’s metro face – toward the other seats or toward the center of the carriage? That has been a smoldering question for two years. The answer will affect not only existing trains but the planned metro D line.

The Prague Public Transit Company (DPP) in April 2020 began experimenting with which way seats on the metro should face two years ago, rotating some 90 degrees.

Prague Deputy Adam Scheinherr at the time asked people for their opinions.

“What do you say about such an adjustment? I wonder if you find this useful or if you think it is totally stupid,” he said.

Reaction to the change in seat configuration was quite mixed. However, the pandemic heavily affected not only ridership, which fell significantly, but also spacing between people as social distancing was introduced. Ridership is only now returning to normal, with the dropping of mask requirements. DPP is once again trying to resolve the configuration issue.

DPP has turned to the public to try to get some concrete figures on what people prefer. Riders can answer an online survey of six multiple-choice questions (plus five demographic questions and one where you can add comments) until April 30. People can only vote once from a single IP address. You can take the survey here.

“In Prague metro trains, the seats are differently oriented and arranged so that every passenger can choose. Some prefer to sit only in the direction of travel, others sideways and others do not even mind sitting against the direction of travel. Some passengers always like to sit down, others prefer to stay standing. Customer preferences change over time,” DPP said.

They also ask if people prefer plastic or upholstered seats, and have room for any helpful suggestions.

“Therefore, we would like to ask you 12 simple questions. They will help us in deciding on the maintenance or replacement of seats in metro trains or in arranging them in new autonomous trains that will run on lines D and C,” DPP added.

People should answer only if they use the Prague metro at least once a week.

"Based on the results of the survey, the DPP board of directors will further decide how to proceed with the rotation of single seats on 81-71M trains, which run on lines A and B. Turning of single seats is only possible on 81-71M trains," DPP said on Facebook.

The 81-71M trains are the oldest trains currently in service in Prague. They date to before the Velvet Revolution but have been upgraded.

"Unfortunately, this is not possible in the M1 trains, which run on line C, due to the different layout of the seats themselves, the way they are fastened, and the space in the wagon," DPP added.

DPP will rotate the seats during maintenance and technical inspections of trains to avoid unnecessary additional costs.

DPP is also planning another public survey on a new signage system that it is now starting to use in pilot programs. The signs will be at the Hajé and Palmovka metro stops and can be seen at the Center for Architecture and Metropolitan Planning (CAMP). 

"We want to involve passengers more by asking their opinion and preferences, especially in areas that are directly related to user-friendliness or travel comfort," DPP said.

Would you like us to write about your business? Find out more