Phone service will finally come to the metro

A 17-year contract has been signed with mobile operators

Mobile phone and internet service might finally be coming to metro lines. Later this year service should come to part of the C line. The Prague Public Transit Company (DPP) also approved a new Kč 6.6 billion budget this year for public transportation, with 481 items including new trams. The amount is similar to previous years.

A 17 -year contract with mobile operators was approved last week, according to DPP CEO Martin Gillar. Pilot mobile phone and internet service should begin by the end of this year from Muzeum to Roztyly on the metro's C or red line, and after that it will be expanded to the entire metro system. The estimated Kč 100 million cost will be paid for by the mobile operators. Mobile operators will also pay rent for the use of the tunnels. Installation of the necessary infrastructure will be done at night, so as not to cause any station closures. Internet is currently available in the metro in the new stations from Dejvice to Nemocnice Motol on the A line. On other parts of the metro, service is only available at stations.

Service on part of the C line was previously announced and was expected to be installed by the end of 2016, but this did not happen because the final contracts were not signed. The affected stretch of tracks for the pilot program is seven kilometers, while the entire C line runs 22 kilometers.

Separately, the DDP approved its annual budget Jan. 27. It includes new vehicles, subway station repairs, metro safety and tram track repairs.

The largest part of the budget will be for new trams, with 54 new Škoda 15T ForCity trams expected to be delivered out of 250 that have been ordered.

Three new tram lines are also planned, and expected to be operational by 2020. One would stretch from Barrandov to Silvenec. Another would be a new 2.3 kilometer loop to serve the Dědina housing development. The five-station loop might also include a Park and Ride lot. The third new line would go to the Libuš neighborhood from Modřany. This should connect to the planned metro extension when that is finally built.

Other items in the budget include new ticketing machines where people can pay by credit card. Tram yards will see some modernization as well. Aside from the Jinonice metro station, which is currently closed for repairs, other stations awaiting renovations include Muzeum, Skalka and Dejvická, and possibly Českomoravská. More stations including Karlovo náměstí and Opatov should also become barrier-free. Planning is underway to make Palmovka barrier free as well.

The metro B line will see new cameras, renewal of the chemical warning system and other safety upgrades.

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