A sliver of good news for Prague commuters worrying about coronavirus transmission: Prague public transit authority ROPID has announced that all metro and tram doors will automatically open at all stops in the city, saving travelers from touching that potentially-tainted button with a bare finger.
Until now, commuters typically had to push a button to open doors at public transport stops, though the driver also has control of the doors and usually opens them all at busy stops and times.
The new protocol will not impact the vehicle timetables, which leads one to wonder why they haven’t always opened at all stops. Electricity savings?
Unfortunately, the isn’t same for Prague buses, meaning bus commuters will still need to press a button to open a door.
“On all Prague metro and tram lines, vehicles will temporarily open all doors at all stops,” ROPID stated on Facebook.
“In the rail transport network, unlike bus transport, this measure can be applied without any significant impact on the timetables or extension of journey times. For other modes of transport within PID, therefore, nothing changes.”
Of course, the button to open doors isn’t the only thing commuters touch on a crowded tram or metro in Prague.
As mentioned in a previous article, one of the best ways to protect yourself on Prague public transport is to take a seat if available, or hold on to the less-often-used top horizontal rails as opposed to the vertical poles.
Prague public transport company DPP had previously announced that they will be disinfecting all trams on a daily basis with ozone as a precaution against the spread of coronavirus.
Up-to-date information about coronavirus in Prague can be found at the city’s official emergency website bezpecnost.praha.eu (in Czech only).
The Czech Ministry of Foreign affairs also has updated coronavirus information on their website for those traveling abroad.
Prague’s Public Health Authority has opened two hotlines specifically for coronavirus-related questions, at 773 782 856 and 773 782 850.
The Czech National Institute of Public Health can also be reached at 724 810 106 and 725 191 367 from 9:00 to 21:00.