Electric trolleybuses being tested in Prosek

The city is looking at ways to reduce emissions from transit

Electric trolleybuses will soon be tested in Prague's Prosek neighborhood. The Prague Public Transit Company (DPP) will build about a kilometer of electric cable starting in September, and the tests of the trolleybus should start in the fall. If the tests are successful the trolleybuses could be used in other parts of the city.

There were trolleybuses in Prague in the 1970s, but they fell out of favor. Efforts to create greener public transportation, and more efficient trolleybuses, have put renewed interest on them as an option. Some cities have announced efforts to completely get rid of fossil fuel-based transportation in the long term.

The reason that electric trolley buses are being tested is that hilly terrain uses up a lot of battery power, and limits the usefulness of electric buses. The cable allows the bus to get electricity directly, so it won't run out of a battery charge and be stuck on a hill.

Electric trolleybuses from several manufacturers will be tested. So far Škoda Electric, Ekova and SOR Libchavy have shown interest. All of the models should be tested during the winter, which has he harshest driving conditions.

A track will have to be created and traffic signs changed to accommodate the trolleybuses. The route will be from the Klíčovská to Kelerka stops, which are part of the 140 bus line. Construction on the route should take two months and be under Kč 5 million. It should be ready as soon as November. The Railway Authority (DÚ) will have to give approval for the test and issue certificates for the overhead electric line.

DPP technical director Jan Šurovský told daily Lidové noviny that the testing should take a year but early data would be available much sooner. Plans for how to proceed should be made as soon as in the spring.

The transit company did not want to specify where electric trolleybuses would be used in the future, but transportation experts cited several hilly areas in Prague that could be suitable including Vysočany and Strahov.

An electric bus has been being tested on the 213 line from Háje to Želivského, and it recharges at the end stations. The test should conclude at the end of September.

Two free privately run electric buses have been operated by Passerinvest Group, ČEZ Group and Arriva between BB Centrum and the Budějovická metro station since early 2016.

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