Trams on Wenceslas Square back under consideration

The city is looking at three options to create better links to the city center

Trams may return to Wenceslas Square. Three options are under consideration and will be discussed by city planning officials April 25. The public will be allowed to comment for a month after the meeting.

The idea was floated a few years ago, but no action has been taken since fall 2016. Now the idea is back on the agenda.

The options are for new lines from Vinohradská to Hlavní nádraží and Wenceslas Square.

The new links would help relieved congestion in the center. Prague’s current tram system is too dependent on the section between Lazarská and Jindřišská, according to City Hall. Inhabitants of Žižkov would benefit from better connections to the center.

“If we want quality transport that does not suffer from frequent delays and overcrowding due to insufficient capacity, is necessary to increase the capacity of the tram network in the city center," Deputy Mayor Petr Dolínek (ČSSD) said on the City Hall website.

Three recommended route options came from previously developed studies and have been evaluated in terms of technical difficulty, boundaries, noise, and runtime.

In the option via Vrchlického sady, a tram line would go from Vinohradská between the National Museum buildings along Wilsonova to the State Opera, where a new stop would be built. The track would then turn to Vrchlického sady with a stop in front of the Hlavní nádraží train station. It would then link to the current track in Bolzanova street.

“This option is particularly advantageous thanks to the direct transfer of passengers at the station. The project planning must limit the cutting of grown trees. The intervention in the park must be minimal,” Deputy Mayor Petra Kolínská (Greens) said.

The option for Opletalova / Wilsonova streets would lead from Vinohradská to the State Opera along the same route as in the first variant, but it would divert across Washingtonova to Opletalova street, where it would lead to Bolzanova street. This would have a less convenient transfer between trams and the train station but have a smaller intervention in the park.

The third option leads from Vinohradská Street to Wenceslas Square, from where it would go to Opletalova and Bolzanova.

“Placing a tram line in the upper half of Wenceslas Square is allowed by all three options. From a municipal perspective, this route … offers new connections in the city center in different directions. To significantly increase the capacity of the tram lines in the center, it would be ideal to create both lines,” Prague Planning and Development Institute (IPR) director Ondřej Boháč said.

Trams were last seen on Wenceslas Square in 1980. The lower part of Wenceslas Square is currently under a long-planned renovation. The upper part of Wenceslas Square is not currently being renovated in part due to the uncertainty over whether or not trams will return.

The public can comment on the proposed routes by email of mail from April 25 to May 25. After the comment period is over, a public discussion would be held. The route could be running if four to five years.

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