Payment for Prague transit fines enters the 21st century with new online option

People caught without valid tickets no longer have to trek to the dystopian Public Transit Hall of Shame to pay their fines.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston Published on 14.07.2021 14:18:00 (updated on 14.07.2021) Reading time: 2 minutes

People caught on Prague’s transit system without a ticket can now pay online instead of having to trek to an office in the city center.

The ticket system long ago jumped into the 21st century, with the possibility to buy tickets via SMS, or to carry your annual pass on your phone and to renew it online.

The system for paying fines for “riding black” had remained in the dark ages. Getting a ticket not only meant embarrassment when you were caught on the metro or tram, but also having to take time off from work to make the in-person pilgrimage to the hall of shame.

Violators who didn’t pay on the spot had to go to the dystopian Brutalist-style Central Dispatch Office of the Prague Public Transit Company (DPP) at Na Bojišti 5. In keeping with its forbidding black facade and inconvenient back-street locale – oddly not close to a public transit stop – the cash desk has three different sets of hours for different days of the week and is closed weekends.

DPP central dispatch building. (Photo; Raymond Johnston)
DPP central dispatch building. (Photo; Raymond Johnston)

You could, and still can, make a bank transfer, but this does not allow you to dispute the amount of the fine. You can also, if you want, wait in line to pay at the Central Dispatch Office, as this remains an option.

One reason to have to go and pay in person was to show that you had a valid transit pass, but had left it home or lost it. With the possibility to have the coupon on a phone, the coupon could be inaccessible if the phone battery was empty, or if you had left your phone somewhere. With the online system, a person can confirm their pass info and then reduce the fine to CZK 50, the same as if you went in person to show your pass.

The change to the online option took place July 8, but without much fanfare save for a Facebook post.

“We've made paying fines easier, now it's online! Caught by an inspector without a ticket? Or did you just forget your ticket at home? Now you can do everything online from home,” the DPP post states.

In the comments, DPP confirmed that there is now almost no reason to have to pay in person. "You now have to deal with practically nothing in person at the supplementary cashier," they said.

With the new system, people can go to the DPP e-shop and use a payment card. If any reduction for timely payment applies, it will be automatically calculated. The steps for paying are laid out in an easy-to-follow system. Logging in is based on the number on the fine stub, which is referred to ZOPPK in the system. Full details are on the DPP website.

The fines will change slightly as of Aug. 1. The classic fine for riding illegally in Prague is set at CZK 1,500. If the person pays it on the spot or within 15 days, it is reduced to CZK 1,000, up from the previous CZK 800. If, after being caught the person decides to buy an annual coupon for CZK 3,650, they will pay only CZK 800 for the fine but must buy the ticket within five days.

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