Prague plans new tram lines

Places that rely heavily on crowded buses should get some relief

Prague is planning 35 tram-related projects in the long term, including completely new lines, some of which may even extend beyond the city limits.

The first new lines are still several years away from being operational. though. Some planned lined are entirely new routes, but others have been discussed for a long time.

The new lines and other projects are part of the Sustainable Mobility Plan, which was published by City Hall this week.

The city wants to place new tram lines mainly where buses are used but are still unable to meet demand. Trams hold more people. They are also seen as a more comfortable and ecological transit solution offering better connectivity with the center and other parts of the city.

A tram route from Želivského to Malešice along Počernická Street has been talking about it since the start of the century. It was supposed to be operational by 2011, but work actually never started due to other work having to be done on underground water mains.

Prague Deputy Mayor Petr Dolínek (ČSSD) announced at a press conference that the project documentation for the 2.4 kilometer track is now being prepared.

The cost of the route will be Kč 950 million, which is much less than the previous estimate since the current plan has found ways to cut costs. It should be finished within four years.

This line is seen as one of the most necessary, as the area now relies on intensive bus service.

The Prague Public Transit Company (DPP) is closest to the construction of the tram lines that cover Sídliště Barrandov - Holyně - Slivenec as well as Sídliště Modřany - Libuš. “We have a zoning decision, and we are now trying to get a building permit,” DPP spokeswoman Aneta Řehková said.

Other planned projects include Divoká Šárka - Dědinská and the northern tramway tangent link between Podbaba and Bohnice via Troja. The districts are physically close but hard to reach from one another.

By 2022, the city wants to build a tram route from Podbaba to Suchdol, costing some Kč 1.6 billion, and a route from Kobylisy to Bohnice costing Kč 2 billion.

The construction of the bridge Dvorecký most across the Vltava between the tram stops of Dvorce and the Lihovar is also planned.

Separately, the city is also upgrading its tram service by installing contactless payment terminals in all trams to make it easier to buy tickets. The project calls for 920 terminals, and they should all be installed by 2020.

The device will print a ticket for the passenger, which like other transit tickets can be used on other public transport links up until its time limit expires.

The newest trams in the fleet, the Škoda 15T, have free WiFi, but most older models still do not.

The Škoda 14T trams, which were introduced into service in 2007 but later withdrawn due to technical issues, are also all being renovated. All 57 of them should be back in service by 2020.

Prague has over 800 trams according to the DPP website, with the classic T3 model and its variants, introduced in 1960, still the most common and accounting for over half of the fleet. The more modern 15T accounts for about one-quarter of the fleet.

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