Prague plans express buses in tunnels

The city hopes to shorten the time on several routes and attract new customers

The transit organizer in Prague wants to start express bus routes through tunnels to speed up public transportation.

The concept is part of the recently approved Transport Plan, and is binding for the city management.

Ropid, the organizer of regional public transit, wants to improve the service and said that one goal is to make bus service not only more efficient for people who already use it but also more attractive to people who currently commute by cars.

When express buses will start operation in the Blanka and Strahov tunnels is not yet clear.

Before the routes are implemented in the Blanka tunnel there will be test runs to assess the impact on traffic.

The evaluation of traffic will also include how to handle extraordinary or planned traffic closures on the adjoining roads or in the Blanka complex itself.

The Blanka tunnel complex opened in 2015 but has not been used by city buses. Officials initially opposed the idea, but now that the tunnels are in operation they have a chance to re-examine the idea.

One route being considered for tunnels is line 125 from Smíchovský nádraží to Skalka.

The Transport Plan also calls for more long articulated buses to be used to improve service. The current maximum for a bus in service is 18.75 meters long. Ropid would have to buy additional buses ranging between 19 and 25 meters.

Larger buses will first be used on line 119 from Nádraží Veleslavín to Václav Havel Airport Prague, and later on the lines 107, 112 and 136.

But the new buses will not be put into service this year, as Ropid is concentrating its efforts on other issues. 

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