Potential cut of midnight metro angers Prague residents

Many consider Prague’s public transport system one of the best in Europe. But there could soon be cuts to services in the city, including a proposal to end metro services after midnight. Even though the approval of this cost-cutting measure is still pending, many Prague residents are outraged at the possibility that the last metro trains could leave earlier.

After reading that the last metro every night might soon be cut by ROPID, the Prague integrated transportation authority, activist and green party member Tereza Vandrovcová decided to fight against the measure. She founded a protest group on the social network Facebook in early January. In less than three weeks, almost 26,000 people joined the group.

Photo: Kristýna Maková
“It’s not smart to cancel a train that’s almost always at capacity that is almost always at capacity. I know that the financial situation is bad and they have to cut costs, but why would they want to cut the midnight metro?”

The cost-cutting measure is motivated by ROPID’s stated aim of cutting costs by five percent this year. According to the transport authority’s spokesman Filip Drápal, the last metro is at 50 percent of its capacity most of the time, making it a good option to be cut. But he stresses that the proposal has not even been approved yet.

“Of course the last metro will always be a bit fuller than the one before that. Unfortunately, these people don’t even know what they are protesting against. The proposition has not been decided on or approved, so any protest at this moment is simply pointless.”

Despite the fact that it is merely in the proposal stage, the potential reduction of late night transport is an issue that angers many Prague residents.

Young woman: “I think they shouldn’t get rid of it, I think they should even prolong the service because a lot of people use night metros, including me.”

Older man: “The midnight metro should stay, a lot of people, including me, use it to return home from their late shifts, and without it, we wouldn’t be able to make or later connections.”

The proposal will be discussed with town hall representatives next week. Jiří Wolf, the spokesman of Prague Town Hall, says this is just one of many possible cost-cutting measures.

“The integrated transport authority and the Prague public transit company meet several times a year, so this is nothing out of the ordinary. This is another meeting, and if we will discuss some changes to cut costs, then they will not be the kind that would significantly affect Prague residents.”