The citywide smog emergency declared on Thursday is still in effect for Prague; now authorities are considering a plan that would make public transport free in an effort to limit traffic in the Czech capital.
Prague councilors will convene Tuesday to discuss the possibility of introducing free public transport. If the proposal is approved, free fares would apply from tomorrow afternoon, reports iDnes.cz.
City officials continue to ask drivers to use public transport when traveling to Prague. Power stations, the cement works in Radotín, and Zbraslav quarry have been asked to reduce their emissions, as meteorologists search for an answer to the smog situation.
Improvements are anticipated by the end of the week or through the weekend, but the outlook is currently unfavorable, says Petr Dvorak of the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute: “There is a high probability that the weather just does not improve, but rather may even worsen.” The situation has been agitated by wind and frost.
A smog emergency is declared when a concentration of PM10 airborne particles exceed the limit of 100 micrograms per cubic meter for longer than twelve hours and do not fall below that limit for 24 hours.
In Prague, 194 micrograms of PM10 airborne dust was recorded yesterday at Náměstí Republiky; values of 190 micrograms registered in Vršovice. High smog density was also measured from Riegrovy Sady and Smíchov.
Among the biggest sources of contamination are thermal power stations, automobile transport, local coal heating, and waste incineration.
Doctors are recommending that the elderly, young children, and anyone with chronic respiratory problems or heart disease significantly reduce outdoor activities. Even healthy adults should avoid physically demanding activities outdoors if at all possible.