Prague’s public transport authority made headlines and punch lines back in April 2015 when, upon opening a series of new stations on its A-line metro, a small glitch came to light: the Veleslavín Station, where passengers connect to the 119 airport bus, had no escalators, leaving travellers to hoist their heavy baggage up a flight of imposing stairs.
The problem was solved in a rather comical way: as a temporary measure the city hired porters to assist passengers with all that heavy lifting.
Ever since, the one-man porter service has operated every day from 7am to 7pm; during the busy summer season reinforcements are called in for additional help.
Now, according to the transport company those knights in yellow vests may just be out of a job.
Escalators are said to be on their way to Veleslavín, having been chosen from a few other options including a just as confounding solution as the porters: a conveyor belt for luggage.
“Currently, we are in the midst of obtaining a construction permit for adding escalators…in 2018 we proceed to implementation,” a spokeswoman for the transport company Aneta Řehková told Novinky.cz.
The publication also interviewed porters who said the job has its, ahem, ups and downs:
“People make fun of me, giving me a light suitcase. First, they [pretend] it is difficult, when in fact it is very lightweight,” said one of the porters.