Escalators to open at Nádraží Veleslavín

The metro stop that links to the airport bus was planned without a street escalator

Porters will no longer be needed at the Nádraží Veleslavín metro stop, which connects to bus 119 to Václav Havel Airport Prague. 

The escalators from the street level to the first vestibule will go into operation at the end of the week.

“The new escalators must pass the required inspection on April 12, 2018. If everything goes well, we will be operational on Friday, April 13,” Prague Public Transportation Company (DPP) spokeswoman Aneta Řehková said. The escalator cost is estimated at Kč 33 million.

The porters, who carried luggage for free, cost the city tens of thousands of crowns a month since April 2015, according to reports when the service started.

The barrier-free station has an elevator for wheelchairs and baby carriages, but that lacks the capacity to handle large numbers of travelers with luggage from every train. It also reaches the surface far from the bus stop.

When the Nádraží Veleslavín station was planned, the airport bus link was not expected to be there. The bus at that time went from metro Dejvice.

Due to the byzantine construction laws, it was not possible to alter the metro station design once it had been approved without causing significant delays.

The station opened April 6, 2015, along with three other stations on the Metro A line: Bořislavka, Petřiny and Nemocnice Motol.

When these stations were planned, the Metro A line was expected to go all the way to the airport. That plan has been put on hold, and instead, the bus to the airport was rerouted.

When Nádraží Veleslavín opened without an escalator to the street, it made international headlines. UK tabloid The Daily Mail quoted various people trying to shift responsibility for the oversight. The Associated Press news agency also reported on the situation.

The city considered several options such as a moving belt for luggage parallel to the stairs. It would have been cheaper to install.

In the end, an escalator seemed the best option. Work on the escalator began in November 2017. “The Nádraží Veleslavín metro stop is absolutely essential for airport travelers, and there are hundreds of people with heavy luggage every day. I am glad we can finally fix this error,” Prague Mayor Adriana Krnáčová (ANO) said when the construction started.

In related news, new escalators when into operation at the Palmovka metro stop April 6, following after the completion of other escalators at the same station in November. They have lower energy use and are safer than the previous escalators, according to the DPP. The station, which opened in 1990, has been barrier-free since Nov. 14, 2017.

The Anděl metro stop at Plzeňská Street is closed for work on its escalators until June. The entrance at the Na Knížecí bus depot remains open.

Work is also taking place at the Náměstí Republiky station until September. The entrance at Masarykovo nádraží remains open.

Work is also continuing on one of the platforms at the Muzeum metro stop on the A-line. In the future, the Karlovo náměstí station will also be repaired.

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