Lítačka Card to be used in schools

The city will be starting a pilot program where the transit cards will be used as ID

The green Lítačka Card is mainly associated with traveling in Prague’s transit system. It is used by more than half a million people, and City Hall said that in the near future the card will be bought even by more people from Prague and Central Bohemia.

The card may also start to be used as school identification and for other school services. The look of the card may also change.

The city has stated from the start that the card will have more uses than just as a transit pass.

“Last March, when Lítačka was introduced to the public, we aimed to make it possible for Praguers to use the card not only as a travel ticket in Prague and its surroundings but also for other areas of everyday life where they use cards or electronic services. They will now be able to use the card in schools. A pilot project will start at one of the schools in Prague 13,” Prague Mayor Adriana Krnáčová (ANO) said on the City Hall website.

School children already carry chip cards for travel and for use at school. “The Lítačka system is currently being adapted to allow Lítačka to be used in schools that already have their own system. The school must ask to be included in the system and can upload any function that it uses today or will need it for,” Krnáčová said.

People can currently get the cards at Škoda Palace, at Prague Public Transport Company (DPP) information centers, or online.

City firm Operátor ICT, which issues the cards, will begin to offer them directly in the school buildings. “Our goal is for schools to have a place for delivery directly in the building, but in the first stage they will have the cards produced by Operátor ICT and distributed to schools,” Michal Fišer, chairman of the board of directors and COO of Operátor ICT, said.

When the school issues the cards, the child will bring home a permission slip first. “Compared to the current cards that are used in schools, Lítačka offers a higher level of security and a much lower possibility of abuse,” Fišer said.

In some schools, cards are used to buy lunch, and children can also have money stored on the card. “In this case, the card is an appropriate tool to teaching financial literacy. It is the first tool for children to learn about cashless payments,” Deputy Mayor Petra Kolínská (Greens) said.

Currently the Lítačka cards all look the same, with an abstract green design that is supposed to suggest movement. This could change for young users in the foreseeable future. “We are thinking that a limited series of cards could have typical Prague children's motifs relating to the Prague Zoo, the Technical Museum and other places,” Fišer said.

The name Lítačka comes from Czech slang and refers to running around. The name was chosen via an internet poll. The card carries an electronic coupon that can be read by ticket inspectors on public transportation.

The card also functions as a city library card and can get some discounts at museums and other places.

Due to privacy concerns, the card can also be issued anonymously, but these cars can’t be used at the library where personal information is needed.

Lítačka replaced the Opencard, which had seen a number of scandals over the contracts for its operation in the decade that it existed.

Prague has been pursuing a Smart City policy and has been trying to use new technologies to make life easier in transportation and other areas. Smartphone apps will assist in finding parking spots for example, and more public WiFi is being introduced. Some garbage cans notify the city when they are full, making the collection more efficient and also ensuring that the cans have enough space for more waste so people won’t litter.

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