Prague has an excellent public transport system, which consists of an integrated network of metro, trams, buses and funicular railway. Public transport within the city boundaries is run by Dopravní podník hlavního města Prahy, or DP for short. It‘s sometimes referred to as MHD (Městská hromadná doprava). Prague is also part of the ROPID (Regionální organizátor Pražské integrované dopravy/Regional Organiser of Prague Integrated Transport) network, which covers the suburbs beyond the city. Suburban transport will be covered in a later article.
SINGLE TICKETSThe greater
Tickets should be stamped as soon as you board the bus or tram, or at the entrance to the metro or funicular. You will see yellow stamping machines in all modes of transport. The blank strip at the end of the ticket should be punched; the green light on the machine should come on if this has been done correctly. Single tickets are valid for a limited period, and a new ticket must be stamped if the time limit is exceeded.
Bicycles can be taken on the metro (but they are not allowed on the bus or tram) without an extra charge, as well as babies in pushchairs, but for empty pushchairs and certain large objects (see DP website for details) a CZK 13 transfer ticket must be stamped, with the usual time conditions applying (see table below). Animals not carried within a box or container are also subject to a CZK 26 transfer ticket.
NOTE: NEW TICKET PRICES HAVE TAKEN EFFECT FROM 1ST JANUARY 2008.
|TICKET TYPE||TIME VALIDITY|
|Transfer Ticket (přestupní jízdenka)||75 minutes at peak times (5am – 8pm on weekdays)90 minutes at all other times (including public holidays)||Covers zones P & 0. Unlimited transfers within and between public transport modes, provided journey made within 75/90 minutes. Can be used on night transport.||26||13|
|Non-transfer ticket (nepřestupní jízdenka)||20 minutes on tram or bus, or 5 metro stops (not including the stop where the ticket was validated)||Covers zones P and 0. Transfers permitted only on the metro (no more than 30 minutes from validation). Not valid on the funicular railway or night transport.||18||9|
|Ticket bought on bus||Same as transfer ticket||Same conditions as transfer ticket. Available in zone P only.|
PASSESIt always makes sense to buy a pass, and even if you have to use the public transport system often in order to make the ticket pay, prices are relatively low compared to the West, making passes a worthwhile option. It´s also much more convenient. As with single tickets, short-term passes should be validated immediately, and they do not need to be stamped again. The ticket is valid based on the number of hours elapsed after you stamp the ticket, so if you buy a 24-hour ticket at 12.00 on Monday, it will still be valid at 9.00 on Tuesday. Holders of passes do not have to pay an extra charge for items mentioned above, except animals. All passes are valid only within the boundaries of
|3 Days (72 hours)||330||n/a||n/a|
|5 Days (120 hours)||500||n/a||n/a|
|7 Days||No longer offered||n/a||n/a|
To obtain a long-term pass you need to provide one passport-sized photograph and identification, e.g. passport, and fill out a simple form (only in Czech). Get a Czech to help you if necessary. Passes based on a submitted form are marked s evidencí in
LONG-TERM PASS (Without optional commencement of validity period)
It is also possible to buy tickets where the commencement period is flexible, e.g. the validity period can begin on 10th January instead of 1st January.
WHERE TO BUY TICKETS AND PASSES
Tickets are available from the vending machines you see in all metro stations and some bus and tram stops. Instructions are in Czech in English. Other places selling tickets include ticket offices in the vestibule of some metro stations (for a list see the DP website), At certain stations the counter marked “Dozorčí”, by the ticket barrier, sells tickets, and a sign will indicate whether tickets are sold there or not. Tickets can also be bought at DP travel centres (see below), newsagents, street kiosks, post offices and hotels. Although tickets cannot be bought on trams they can be bought on buses (see above), albeit at a higher price.
Passes cannot be bought from vending machines; instead they can be purchased from ticket offices in the vestibule of some metro stations (see above) and at selected newsagents, post offices and DP travel centres.
The public transport system works on an honour basis, although inspections are frequent, particularly on the busy metro stations in the centre. Inspectors are obliged to show you their identification badge, which has the DP logo and a four-digit number. Watch out for bogus inspectors – they are known to operate. Můstek and Muzeum are particular favourites of inspectors, as are “tourist“ tram such as Nos. 18 and 22. On the bus I´ve only had my ticket inspected twice since I came to
Bear in mind that inspectors are also more frequent at the beginning of the month and at the beginning of each quarter: this is when new season passes are issued so inspectors are on the lookout for people who haven´t changed their passes.The fine is CZK 400, and feigning ignorance doesn´t work; rather it will be counter-productive, so just pay the fine. If you have simply forgotten your long-term pass you can pay a reduced penalty (see above), although you must prove you have a pass at the DP Office at Na Bojišti 5,
The DP website has comprehensive information. See www.dp-praha.cz Information is available in English. You can also can 296 191 817 for information (Czech/English/German). The line is open daily, from 7.00 to 21.00. DP also operates five travel centres. For more details see the website.