Metro D may open with just two stops

Problems in acquiring land means that the train will run nonstop to the end

The saga of Metro D continues, and the latest chapter is that the line may start with only its first and last stations in use. The metro would begin at Pankrác, near the city center, and end at eight kilometers away in Písnice in the southern edge of the city. The reason is that the city has been unable to acquire the necessary land for the other stations.

Prague Mayor Adriana Krnáčová (ANO) and Deputy Mayor Petr Dolínek (ČSSD) both agreed that the metro could proceed without the required land for the intervening stops. The original plan called for 10 stops on the new line, which was supposed to run 10.6 kilometers. Dolínek told that he has given the proposal for the two-station plan to the supervisory board of the Prague Public Transit Company (DPP).

The city will continue to attempt to acquire the land for the other stations. Krnáčová said the Metro D line should be launched as soon as possible so the periphery of the city could be linked to the center. Currently, there is bus service which is slow compared to the metro.

Additional stops that the city hopes to eventually open include Olbrachtova, Nádraží Krč, Nemocnice Krč (Thomayerova Teaching Hospital), Nové Dvory and Libuš. But groups of developers and landowners at Nemocnice Krč and Nádraží Krč in particular have different plans for their land that don't include having metro stops.

Krnáčová says that construction on the Metro D line should start before the elections in 2018. Completion is not expected before 2026. The delays also mean that the city is likely to lose out on Kč 5 billion in EU subsidies. Construction was originally set to begin in 2010.

The Metro D line has also been facing trouble over the designs of the unbuilt stations. A petition points out that the designs for the stations are already outdated compared to similar projects in other countries. The authors of the petition want the stations to be completely redesigned, but the city maintains that even though the construction of the stations is years away only cosmetic changes can be made to the designs because building permits have already been issued. An architectural competition for the cosmetic changes might be called next year. The stations were designed in 2009 and even then did not take into account modern urban planning trends, according to critics.

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