Dealing with Tram diversions

Knowing when your tram is about to go awol

Expats.cz

Written by Expats.cz
Published on 27.07.2005 19:17 (updated on 27.07.2005)

Written by David Creighton
for Expats.cz

Prague´s transport system, especially the tram routes, seems to be in a constant state of flux, mainly due to repair work. Trams are therefore diverted or do not run at all, for a certain period. As well as work on the tracks, events such as marathons or other public events affect tram operation.

It´s easy to be caught out by such changes, not least because while information about alterations is always made available in advance, the details are often only in Czech. When there are disruptions that may affect tourists in the city centre announcements are made on the metro in English. But information about disruption caused by repairs is announced in Czech only. If you can read Czech you can refer to www.dp-praha.cz for information. There are also leaflets at travel centres, but again the information is in Czech only. The Prague Post is therefore a useful source of up-to-date information.

It´s also useful to have some vocabulary to hand anyway. Výluka, the catch-all word which basically means any form of closure of the transport system. Other helpful phrases include kde je ukončena: where the service terminates; náhradní autobus: substitute bus service; není v provozu: not in operation; odkloněna přes: diverted via; v směru: in the direction of; and změna trasy: route change. The word zastávka in its various inflected disguises means tram (bus) stop.

The authorities try to minimise disruption by carrying out work at off-peak times or during holiday periods. Often repairs are carried out fairly quickly, such as over a weekend, but they can be long-term: the extension of line C of the metro for example has had a knock-on effect on tram routes, and this will last months. On the positive side, the changes always seem to be carried out on schedule, and you can be confident that your journeys will not be affected any longer than necessary.

In practice the changes mean that trams take a different route (which is usually shown on a diagram at the tram stop) or that the tram does not run at all. If the former is the case then tram timetable, with the diverted route indicated, will be shown in yellow. Correspondingly, if there is a diversion the route summary in the side windows of the tram will be in yellow. If the tram does not run at all then the there will a diagonal line across the tram number sign at the tram stop.

AGENCY PROPERTIES

In many cases a replacement bus service will operate; such vehicles are denoted by ‘X´ followed by a number, and replace the routes where the trams are not operating. Sometimes a replacement bus service does not run. Replacement trams may run, and they can be differentiated from ordinary trams because they bear numbers from 30-39.

It´s also common for temporary tram stops to be set up during the period of disruption; usually they are close to the original stop and bear the same name, although they will be marked ‘Dočasná zástavka´ (temporary stop).

David can be reached at creighton@expats.cz