Prague will temporarily end the operation of some bus lines at 10 p.m. due to state of emergency

Ridership on some bus lines has dropped to single digits in the evening since most entertainment facilities are closed

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston
Published on 13.10.2020 12:00 (updated on 13.10.2020)

Prague will halt service on 35 bus lines after 10 pm due to the state of emergency stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. The limits will be in place until restrictions on eating establishments and the cancellation of all cultural and sporting events is lifted.

The restrictions on of restaurants, clubs, bars and entertainment facilities has resulted in a sharp decline in demand for evening transit, and those have now been tightened even further. Service on 35 bus lines will temporarily end at 10 pm starting Saturday, October 17, 2020. The announcement was made jointly by Prague City Hall, transit organizer ROPID and the Prague Public Transit Company (DPP).

The affected bus lines are 101, 108, 110, 115, 117, 121, 124, 142, 143, 147 (compensated by an interval of 20 minutes on line 107), 153, 155, 158, 160, 164, 168, 169, 170, 175 , 185, 196, 203, 204, 207, 208, 209, 224, 228, 230, 240, 245 and 247.

These are either additional lines that are not intended for basic service of the area, or lines where other connections can be used after 10 pm. Lines 150 and 152 will be out of operation after 10 pm only in the sections of Kačerov – Želivského and Českomoravská – Kobylisy. The interval between buses lines 165 and 202 will change to 22 minutes after 10 pm and on line 176 to 40 minutes.

If extraordinary measures are tightened and teaching is interrupted at all levels and types of schools, Prague, ROPID and DPP will subsequently temporarily stop the operation of school bus lines.

Compared to the service changes in the spring, however, the number of bus lines ending operation at 10 pm is lower.

Other bus lines, trams and the metro system so far are not affected. The cable car in Petřín is already closed for scheduled maintenance.

The occupancy of all Prague public transport lines has been continuously decreasing since September, as the epidemiological situation in the Czech Republic has deteriorated and new restrictions were gradually introduced to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Based on data from individual stations, the number of passengers in the metro fell by more than 15% from the first week in September to the first week in October. At the beginning of October, the metro was used by 43% fewer passengers than in the same period last year.

The situation is similar for buses. Bus use last week fell by an average of almost 10% compared to the previous week. However, the decline in demand and occupancy seen on evening journeys was most dramatic. For example, bus line 121 in the first week of September after 10 pm carried an average of fewer than 2 passengers on each route, and in the first week in October it was only 1.4 passengers.

While at the beginning of September on some routes in some sections of line 121, zero to a maximum of 11 passengers traveled after 10 pm, at the beginning of October it was zero to a maximum of four passengers. The occupancy of evening services on line 121 fell by 25% from an average of 8.3 passengers at the beginning of September to 6.2 at the beginning of October. Other lines have similar statistics, according to DPP.

The measures are temporary and valid for the period of the declared state of emergency, that is until restaurants, bars, clubs, theaters, cinemas and other places for leisure entertainment are fully open again after 8 pm.