Cable car to Prague zoo being studied

Several options to link Podbaba and Troja are on the table

People may be able to reach the Prague Zoo by cable car. Prague has commissioned a study to examine creating a cable car connecting Podbaba in Prague 6 to the zoo in Prague 7 and then continuing on to Bohnice in Prague 8. The route would cross the Vltava river.

Currently, public transportation connections between these areas are considered insufficient. Podbaba is now connected to Troja, which is the district with the zoo, by a ferry that only runs in the summer season.

The cable car is one of several options being looked at. A tram bridge or tram tunnel crossing the Vltava are also being looked at. So far, there is no consensus on which is the most feasible.

Deputy Mayor Petr Dolínek (ČSSD) told daily Pražský deník that the main deciding issue would be the cost of operation. The study should be completed in a year, he added, and it would show if a cable car was a reasonable solution or a “meglomaniacal project.”

The idea of a cable car to the zoo captures the public's imagination and has its place, Dolínek said. The city needs to be sensitive to the unique characteristics of the Troja area, and find ecological solutions for traffic there. Last year the zoo attracted 1.4 million people, and the same area is also home to part of the Botanical Gardens.

Prague 6 spokesman Martin Churavý said the district finds the idea appealing and is not against it, but it is also not a full solution to the public transportation problem of connecting Prague 6 to the opposite side of the Vltava.

Prague 8 representatives are a bit more cautious. Prague 8 Mayor Roman Petrus said he had heard talk of a cable car from Bohnice to the zoo many times, but has no comment as right now he does not have a specific plan to respond to, and he is waiting for more details.

Yet another cable car has been proposed to link Old Town from Štefánikův most (Štefánik Bridge) to Letná as part of an alternative route to reaching Prague Castle. The cable car to Letná has been proposed by a group of private investors. The cost of the Letná project would range between Kč 70 million and Kč 90 million, depending on the type of cable cars used and on the requirements the city imposes to protect the historical center, Prague.TV reported in July. Dolínek said recently that the private investors are still pursuing the idea. A cable car to Letná existed about a century ago.

Prague 1 Mayor Oldřich Lomecký (TOP 09), however, is not in favor of the plan. He says the district needs projects with “real quality.” The district recently put forward a proposal for a gold-colored oval gallery to house Alfons Mucha's Slav Epic cycle of 20 paintings. The gallery would also be near the entrance to Štefánikův most in the same park area that would be the landing point of the cable car. It is unlikely both could fit in the same space. Prague 7 representatives previously dismissed the idea of the cable car idea, as it interferes with the skyline.

Other proposed cable car routes now seem to have no backing. A plan to link two hills in Prague 3, Vitkov and Parukářka, was mentioned last year but was not included in recently discussed district development plans. Prague 5 is also no longer considering a cable car from Barrandov to Butovice, crossing the Prokop Valley. Other vague plans involving cable cars from Radlická to Dívčí hrady and at Kavčí Hory also now have no official backing and are making no progress to becoming reality.

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