Prague trams will have a new voice from Monday

Dagmar Hazdrová, the voice of Prague's trams for the past 25 years, will be replaced by actor Jan Vondráček as of tomorrow.

Jason Pirodsky

Written by Jason Pirodsky Published on 08.01.2023 09:58:00 (updated on 08.01.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

From Monday, January 9, Prague's trams will have a new voice announcing the stops throughout the city. Recordings from actor and voiceover artist Jan Vondráček, who was chosen as the new voice of Prague's public transport in a poll last summer, will begin to be broadcast over through vehicles across the city.

Vondráček will be a familiar voice for many public transport passengers; he has appeared in dozens of Czech films and TV shows, and dubs the main character in the popular series The Mentalist and Moe the bartender on The Simpsons for local audiences.

The actor will replace Dagmar Hazdrová, who has been the voice of Prague's trams for the past quarter century and will celebrate her 90th birthday later this year. Hazdrová retired from voice acting some years ago.

Dagmar Hazdrová and Jan Vondráček. Photo: Prague Integrated Transport
Dagmar Hazdrová and Jan Vondráček. Photo: Prague Integrated Transport

Prague public transport authority DPP conducted a poll last year in search of her replacement, and more than 200,000 votes were cast. Vondráček was a clear winner with more than 62 percent of the vote.

Last fall, Vondráček began recording lines for Prague's trams, reciting general information and the names of each of the stops throughout the city in various intonations for use in different contexts. In total, he recorded more than 2,000 lines for Prague trams.

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Tonight, DPP technicians will replace Hazdrová's voice with Vondráček's new recordings throughout the city's vehicles.

Vondráček's winning recording for Prague Public Transport

But he's not done there. In the coming weeks, Vondráček will record new lines for Prague network of buses, including all bus stops throughout the city extending into the surrounding region. In total, he'll need to record more than 7,000 lines for use across Prague's buses.

When Prague launched its public transport services, there were no station announcements at all; only in the 1950s did drivers begin to recite the names of their stops through a microphone.

Prague trams used a cassette-based system to report the name of stations in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The first digital announcements were introduced in Prague's metro system in 1995, and appeared in the city's trams and buses the following year.

Prague's metro system has its own system of voice actors, with a different personality on each line. Světlana Lavičková speaks the names of the stops and other information on Line A, Eva Jurinová on Line B, and Tomáš Černý on Line C.

There are no current plans to replace the voices of Prague's metro, but the Czech capital will need to find a new voice for its upcoming Line D from Pankrác to Písnice, which is currently under construction and expected to be completed by 2029.

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