Metro D construction to start

Work on the long delayed fourth line should begin this year

Construction work will begin soon on the long-delayed Metro D line between the Pankrác and Olbrachtova stops. This section was chosen as it has been easiest to get the necessary land there. The supervisory board of the Prague Transport Company (DPP) reached its decision Wednesday.

“There is never enough good news. DPP is in the process of finally approving investment in construction of Metro D. We are fulfilling our election promise and will soon begin exploration. I'm happy,” Prague Deputy Mayor Petr Dolínek (ČSSD) said on Facebook.

Metro D is meant to relieve the crowded Metro C route and also connect the center with city's south. The entire line, including a section from Pankrác to Náměstí Míru, should cost some Kč 50 billion.

DPP has been examining options for construction, and it seems that building the line from Pankrác to Nové Dvory, and then later extend the line to Písnice, is most efficient. The time for building the Pankrác to Náměstí Míru section has not been decided.

The Metro D line will use driverless trains, it was previously announced. Construction was supposed to start last year, but there were problems with acquiring all of the land. According to previously released plans, construction should finish in 2022 or '23.

Originally, construction was planned to start in 2010 but for various reasons that never happened.

The line already faces controversy, as some people claim the planned stations that were designed in 2009 are already outdated. Some 2,700 people signed a petition to have them redesigned, but the city claims that only minor cosmetic changes can be made since zoning permission has already been granted, and extensive changes would mean further delays as the process would have to start over. The exception is for new stations at Náměstí Míru and Náměstí bratří Synků, which do not yet have zoning permits.

The use of driverless trains has also been a point of controversy, as changes to the law will be required to allow for them to go into service.

The Prague metro began operation in 1974 and now has three lines with 61 stations. It has a transit network 65.2 kilometers long. 

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