Prototype public transit shelter will unify Prague’s public spaces

Prague will once again own transit shelters and benefit from adverting revenue

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston Published on 03.12.2019 12:00:30 (updated on 03.12.2019) Reading time: 3 minutes

A test prototype of a public transit stop shelter will be at Palackého náměstí until the spring. The design came from competition organized by the Prague Institute of Planning and Development (IPR Praha) last year. The test will determine the design’s functionality. The cost of each stop should not exceed 200,000 CZK.

The shelter is screened from the elements on three sides, with one side for advertising. The back also has an opening to allow people to enter from behind. The shelter has a light board with a list of the arriving trams and expected waiting period. A railing is next to the shelter.

Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib (Pirates) welcomed the new design. “So this is the prototype of a new stop shelter for Prague. … I am glad that urban furniture will be unified in design. … The unification of the furnishings will then contribute to improving the appearance of public space not only in the center but also in the housing estates. There it will replaces the ugly wire-glass shelters,” he said on Facebook.

He also looked forward to bringing order to public advertising. “We insist that the management of street furniture and advertising space should be done according to fair conditions. … We will not get involved in any games,” he said.

As result of the test period, the shelter and adjacent handrail may be modified. This will be followed by the production of a pilot series, which should appear at various Prague locations.

Many of the existing stops lack modern technology such as lit signs showing when the next trams will come. Since the city does not own the shelters, it has been difficult to change them. In summer 2021, the contract with the current shelter manager expires.

tram stop prototype
Prototype tram stop at Palackého náměstí. via Raymond Johnston

Next year there will be a public tender for a supplier and manager of the stops. The city will then have full control over advertising and the revenue generated from the new shelters.

“After more than 20 years, Prague will get stops into its property and will have control over them not only in terms of location, functionality, but also advertising. This supervision was still missing in Prague,” IPR Praha director Ondřej Boháč said in a press release.

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Mayor Hřib said urban furniture is often overlooked, but a very important part of the city. “In addition to providing convenience to its users, it should be representative and easy to maintain. The new stop shelter fulfills all these attributes, and I am therefore pleased that it will gradually expand in Prague,” Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib (Pirates) said in a press release.

tram stop prototype
Protoype public transit stop and the adjacent railing. via Raymond Johnston

Deputy Mayor Adam Scheinherr (Praha sobě) said public transport stops are an important element of public space. “Whether it is traffic construction or a bus stop, we always have to think about the result looking nice and fitting into its surroundings,” he said.

The initiative to unify urban furniture began in 2017, when the city started looking for designs for city benches, trash bins, and bicycle racks. The winning designs can be seen in Stromovka, Petřín or Strossmayerovo náměstí. The trash bin won a Red Dot Design Award.

“The integrated design of street furniture will help to significantly improve the quality of public spaces in Prague. I am delighted that Prague has its own design with which to present itself,” City Councilor Petr Hlaváček (United Force for Prague) said.

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