Cable car to cross the Vltava

The Podbaba – Prague Zoo – Bohnice line could be running bu 2023

The long-discussed cable car across the Vltava river between Podbaba, Prague Zoo and Bohnice could go into operation on 2023 or ’24. The project has the support of City Hall as well as the Prague 6 and 8 districts.

The cable car can start operation much faster than a proposed new tram route across the river.

Transit organizer ROPID says it will be the quietest and most environmentally friendly means of transport used by passengers in the Prague Integrated Transport (PID) system.

“We have to create a comfortable connection between Prague 6 and Prague 8 because one does not exist today, and that is a disgrace in 2018. We are able to build the cable track very quickly compared to tram lines. The study clearly shows that if we want to offer people a quick connection in the near future, the cable car is the right way,” Prague Deputy Mayor Petr Dolínek (ČSSD).

“It does not mean that tram tracks cannot be built in the future, but they will run in tunnels in very complex geological conditions and it will take a long time before they can operate,” he added.

Dolínek said that the next steps, following the recent approval by the City Council, is to make provisions in the municipal plan and then seek zoning and building permits. The actual construction of the cable car’s stations and infrastructure would take one year.

The trip from Dejvice to Bohnice would be shortened by almost half an hour, as currently there is not a convenient route linking these areas on opposite sides of the river.

Cable cars would go at 60 seconds intervals. The transport capacity would be 2,000 people per hour, with options to increase the capacity based on seasonal demand to up to 4,000 people per hour.

Martin Fafejta, head of the ROPID, said the cable car over the river is not a gimmick.

“When the cable car is mentioned, most people imagine a tourist attraction, but here we are talking about a full-fledged means of transport in the Prague Integrated Transport for which no one will be charged any special fares,” he said.

“The cabins will be accessible for wheelchairs and parents with strollers. In the summer season, we expect the use of bikes for cyclists. We plan the basic transport capacity of the cable car at 2,000 persons per hour,” he added.

The Podbaba boarding station would be a common transfer terminal for trains, buses and trams. The cable car would cross over the Vltava and Císařský ostrov sewage treatment plant using two pillars, There would be a stop at the Prague Zoo and then a climb to Bohnice to the Krakov transit terminal.

Costs for the construction of a cable car system are estimated between Kč 1 billion and Kč 1.5 billion, with the system taking up a minimum of surface space. The required infrastructure is the two terminal stations, intermediate stations at the zoo and 6 pillars.

The route goes outside the Prague Zoo so the cable car does not cross over its territory but is close enough to bring passengers directly to a planned new entrance. This would solve the problem with the overloaded 112 bus line and the lack of parking spaces around the Zoo.

The biggest time savings will be made from the center of Prague 6 to Bohnice. Passengers traveling from Dejvice to the Krakov station today need an average of three-quarters of an hour. When the cable car runs, the same journey will take only 21 minutes.

“There has been no useful transport connection from Bohnice to Dejvice for a long time, the cable car is a very elegant and fast solution, which is, moreover, cheaper than anything else. Prague 8 supports this project. … Prague cannot plan a more environmentally friendly and quieter means of transportation that can handle thousands of people a day,” Prague 8 Mayor Roman Petrus said.

Prague 6 Deputy Mayor Eva Smutná agrees. “We have been calling for a long time for this connection. If you want to go to Bohnice today, you have to take the tram through Letná to the metro, then get to Kobylisy and then by bus to Bohnice. Alternatively, you can take a ferry. But it is absolutely absurd because Krakov is 3.5 kilometers from Dejvická,” she said.

“It would be hard to find a more complicated connection between two city districts than Prague 6 and Prague 8, even if we are near neighbors. The cable car is the most logical solution. It will be built much faster and more economically than tunnels. We support every solution that will ease Prague 6 from the current traffic situation,” she added.

The cable cars will use a three-cable system that is can withstand very strong wind. The cabin is supported by two cables and powered by the third. Entry and exiting the cabin has been designed to be safe and comfortable. The system has safety elements built in to make evacuation easy in case the cable loses power. 

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