Prague's Vyšehrad Tunnel to close for three weeks, but you can use a free boat or bike instead

Tram tracks along the stretch of the Vltava waterfront will be repaired starting Aug. 7 for the first time in 13 years.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston Published on 05.08.2021 17:24:00 (updated on 05.08.2021) Reading time: 4 minutes

Tram tracks going through the tunnel at Vyšehrad are being repaired, and the Prague Public Transit Company will be offering a short ride on a boat as one option to get from Výton to Podolská vodárna.

“After 13 years, the Vyšehrad Tunnel will close. An alternative boat service is being established for passengers. Passengers will now also be able to use alternative bicycle transport,” Prague Integrated Transit said on Facebook.

From the start of Saturday, Aug. 7, to the end of Friday. Aug. 27, the Prague Public Transit Company (DPP) will work on the tram track in the area of the Vyšehrad Tunnel. Trams will not run between Výton and Podolská vodárna. The trams affected by the work will be lines 2, 3, 4, 17, 18, 21, and 24 as well as the night tram 92.

While the cycle and pedestrian traffic will be allowed through the side tunnel, motor vehicle traffic will not as the main section of the tunnel will be be completely closed. There will be no substitute bus directly in the area, as buses also can’t use the closed tunnel, but some bus routes that serve stops further along the route will be reinforced.

Passengers will also be served daily from 6 am to 10 pm by the alternative boat service X21. The boat stops are located at the Výtoň jetty on Rašínovo nábřeží and at Podolská vodárna on the peninsula behind Yacht Club Cere. Access to the piers is not wheelchair accessible and not suitable for passengers with prams.

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The most important part of the work is directly in the Vyšehrad Tunnel, where there are three arches in a row. In addition, it is necessary to mill asphalt from the road so that the curves can be replaced. DPP will also replace part of the 2004 railway branch at the Výtoň intersection.

The boat ride and bike are included with any valid transit ticket or pass. While the boat ride has been offered in the past when the tunnel was closed, the bike service is new. The bikes, though, are only free for use along the closed section of track. Also, many people do not realize that there are several regular boat routes across the Vltava and to islands included in the PID system, and not just in case of road closures.

“Prague needs to be developed, but we must also take responsible care of the existing infrastructure, and in the section between Výtoní and Podolská vodárna, the rails and arches have not changed for 13 years,” Prague Deputy Mayor Adam Scheinherr, who is also chairman of the DPP Supervisory Board, said in a press release.

“Praguers will be able to use alternative bus, water but also bicycle transport. Rekola's pink bikes will be free for everyone in the lockout section. At the same time, cyclists and pedestrians will have the Vyšehrad Tunnel accessible during the repairs, so that they can get to the city center comfortably and quickly,” Scheinherr said.

Source: DPP
Source: DPP

“It's great when we can join forces with the private sector and come up with a new solution that will make it easy to move around Prague even during repairs. If alternative bicycle transport works for us and Praguers like it, we will start introducing it regularly. At the center, the organization of alternative transport is logistically and spatially very demanding, and bicycles can deal with it effectively,” he added.

Jan Střecha from Rekola said the company’s partner Urban Monkey would pay for the ride between the two lock stands. “Everything will work very similarly to the closure on the bridge Libeňský most in 2018, where we also provided alternative bicycle transport between two points paid for by a partner,” he said.

“We believe that shared bikes are not a competition to public transport, but on the contrary a great complement,” he added.

To use a bike, passengers need to have the Rekola app installed on a smart phone so they can scan the QR cose on the bikes. The app can be downloaded for free from the AppStore or Google Play. The free 30-minute ride is valid from the stand at Náplavka to the stand at Podolska vodarna and vice versa. In case of extending the ride to other stands, the entire rental is paid according to the standard rate. More information can be found on the Rekola website.

As a substitute bus transport, line No. 134 will be strengthened for the section between Podolská vodárna and the Pražského povstání metro station. Furthermore, lines No. 118, for the section between Podolí and Smíchovské nádraží, and 190, between Modřany, Braník and Smíchovské nádraží, will be partially strengthened.

A complete list of the affected lines and the transit options can be found on the DPP website.

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