City makes good on promise to lower price of transit pass

Photo: Filip Jandourek

Prague City Hall has made good on the promise to improve conditions for public transport passengers. As of Wednesday, anyone buying the city’s annual transit pass will pay 1,100 crowns less. According to Prague Public Transit, the lower price should see a significant increase in yearly ticket sales.

Photo: Filip Jandourek
Passengers who failed to buy new annual passes at the beginning of year had good reason to wait, after City Hall, in agreement with the Prague Public Transit Company, promised to lower the price of the annual city transit pass, effective July 1st. Until now, holders of the pass had to pay 4,750 crowns. Now they will pay just 3,650. The math is easy: just 10 crowns per day per year, which many consider good value, as the pass is useable not only for the metro, but all of the city’s trams and busses. The drop in price for the annual pass will see the firm, which has revenues of four billion, end with an expected loss of 400 million crowns.

The head of the Prague Public Transit Company, Jaroslav Ďuriš spoke to Czech TV:

Jaroslav Ďuriš,  photo: Czech Television
“I want to stress that the change in the tariff was a decision made by City Hall in order to get more people to use the public transit system. We expect to see a rise in year-long pass holders of between 20 – 25 percent. Given that only around 12 percent of annual pass holders have waited until now to buy the lower tariff pass, I expect there will be no financial problems in 2015.”

An increase in new customers switching to public transport is not expected to unduly burden the existing system, although, pressed on the issue the head of the Prague Public Transit Company, Jaroslav Ďuriš did admit the city’s “C” metro line was at greater risk of being swamped by passengers as the line is already maxed out at peak hours now. The head of the transit company again:

“We are ready for a greater influx. It is of course a question of money. Based on what the city commissions, we are able to increase, for example, above ground transit. The “C” line could be a problem because peak times already see full capacity… [It depends on what the city will want]: when you order something in a restaurant, you don’t blame the waiter for bringing what you asked for.”

Photo: Filip Jandourek
The cost in the price of the annual pass is also not the only change championed by the current coalition in Prague. A parent travelling with a baby or toddler up to the age of three will no longer have to pay, while dog owners will no longer have to buy tickets for their canine friends. Deputy Mayor Petr Dolínek told journalists how he saw the benefits:

“I believe that lowering the price of the annual pass will have a strong social impact and that those who failed to use the transit system before will begin to do so now.”