Transit prices likely won't rise

The trial period for lower annual transit fees ends in June

The two-year trial period for lower prices for annual transit coupons is coming to an end, but according to Prague politicians it is unlikely that prices will go up since the project is seen as an overall success. City Hall will soon address the price issue again, but there are no indications that anyone is seeking to put the price back up.

The price was lowered in June 2015, following up on campaign promises in the 2014 municipal elections. The passes were cut to Kč 3,650 from Kč 4,750, coming out to Kč 10 per day. The idea was to get more people to use buy the passes and use public transportation.

There have been fears among people over social media that the price will rise again, as the campaign promise has been fulfilled. But city officials warn people not to worry. “The city is not thinking about changing the price of an annual coupon,” City Hall spokesman Vít Hofman, said according to daily Pražský deník.

Deputy Mayor Petr Dolínek (ČSSD), who is responsible for transportation issues, reportedly confirmed that no price change is planned.

Since the introduction of the lower annual pass price, the annual number of journeys has increased as well as the number of pass holders. Journeys are up by 5.9 percent. Since the introduction of lower prices in June 2015 to June 2016 the number of annual passes sold was 282,223, up from a previous level around 170,000, showing an increase of over 112,000. Original projections announced at the time of the change were that the increase would be closer to 20 percent, or 34,000.

There were worries that if the program was successful, it would put too much burden on public transit, but officials at the time said it would not be an issue.

In the time since the introduction of lower pass prices, the city has changed several bus and tram routes to optimize efficiency and reduce crowding. More metro service has been added at peak hours, and work has finally started on the Metro D line.

Newer models of trams have been put in service, and a pilot project is testing a modernized T3 tram, which if successful would allow for up to 90 rebuilt trams. Some T3s are nearing the end of their useful life. Longer buses have also been tested.

A new card called Lítačka was introduced in 2016, and the previous OpenCard is being phased out. The card can hold the electronic annual pass and also is valid for discounts at some museums and other benefits. The cards can now also be purchased anonymously, in keeping with privacy laws.

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