The popular PID Lítačka public transportation app may soon offer the ability to use shared bikes in Prague, among other new functions.
The city in cooperation with the firm Operátor ICT is planning new functions that will help to combine methods of transport. The first phase should be ready by the end of the year.
The PID Lítačka app in the future should help users find free parking on the outskirts of the city, find the most convenient public transport connection to the center, and offer a shared bike, car or scooter ride for the last section. People can also use the app to pay for travel tickets and parking.
These innovations are part of the Polaď Prahu (Tune Up Prague) project, which was approved by the City Council at the end of last year. The implementation deadline is 2023.
“We are currently negotiating with carsharing and bikesharing companies that are interested in integrating into Lítačka. Negotiations will last until the end of June, and by the end of this year the services of these companies should be integrated into Lítačka,” Deputy Mayor Adam Scheinherr (Praha sobě), responsible for transportation, said according to daily Pražský deník.
Two new companies are expected to bring shared e-scooters to Prague this year. Re.Volt has already begun to test their yellow e-scooters on the city’s streets with plans to operate 1,000 models. Estonian startup Scoot911 will also introduce a line a black e-scooters to Prague in 2020.
They join e-scooter company Lime, which currently has 1,500 scooters in the center of Prague. Lime has not been included in negotiations with the city.
“Lime must first meet the conditions for safe and thoughtful operation regarding pedestrians and the public space received from the city. Then we will talk about deepening potential cooperation,” Scheinherr said.
A Re.Volt representative said the company had not been contacted but would be interested.
The PID Lítačka application so far is limited. People since December 2019 can use it to carry their travel voucher, but this invalidates the physical card, as the voucher can only be valid in one medium at any given time. Users then have to carry that specific mobile device with the voucher whenever they use pubic transit.
People newly can use the app to purchase long-term vouchers valid from one month to one year. In the long run, the city hopes to increase the number of people using the app, and reduce the number using physical cards and renewing the vouchers in person rather than online.
“[The app] should be more connected to other downstream services. The point is that the user should have all the information about their journey from home in one place,” ROPID spokesman Filip Drápal said.
There is news for physical Lítačka cards as well. A limited edition of the card was released with three different designs by artist Matěj Hošek based on the future appearance of the Prague metro system. They are part of the Maappi charity project whose main face is 15-year-old Hošek. He has a form of autism that causes deep anxiety. When his parents gave him a map of the Prague public transport system, he became very interested and found peace.
The Maappi cards, limited to 20,000 copies, are issued at Škoda Palace and cost the same as standard cards.
“With the release of a limited edition of the Lítačka card with Maappi designs, we wanted to support not only Matěj’s project, but also to offer Lítačka in a new, more fun form. I am convinced that passengers will enjoy the new motifs and that they will even become collectors’ items,” Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib (Pirates) said.
Last year, buses with patterned seats designed by Hošek were launched on the Prague Integrated Transport (PID) routes.
Hošek’s maps on various objects such as cups and bags are sold under the Maappi charitable brand. His family wants to invest a substantial part of the profits into improving psychiatric care and education for children with autism.
Products with Maappi motifs can be purchased through the fan shop of the Prague Public Transit Company (DPP).
Also, Lítačka cards issued in 2016 were set to expire this year, but their validity has been automatically extended to 2023 to reduce the burden on travelers. Passengers will not have to take any action to extend the validity. Cards issued in 2017 will be extended to 2024.
“Currently, just over 859,000 Litkačka cards are registered in our system, and a long-time voucher is recorded for more than 630,000. We hope passengers will appreciate the extension. Our goal is to liberalize and digitize transit in Prague,” Operátor ICT CEO Michal Fišer said.