Electric bus in Geneva. via Adam Scheinherr / Facebook

Prague plans to buy 20 new electric buses for route to Václav Havel Airport

Large-capacity electric buses will start operating on the route to Václav Havel Airport
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Large-capacity electric buses will start operating on the route to Václav Havel Airport Prague from the Nádraží Veleslavín metro stop. City Hall approved buying 20 electric buses plus building infrastructure. The buses could begin running in three years.

The 25-meter-long buses will both eliminate air pollution on route 119 and reduce crowding, as the current buses use diesel fuel and are often full.

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“Traveling by bus from Nádraží Veleslavín to the airport is now an ordeal. Buses tend to be overcrowded, have few places to sit and store luggage, and are also not the best ones. The ideal for the future is, of course, the planned railway, but the railway infrastructure investment will be completed at the earliest in 2028. We decided to make it easier for passengers as soon as possible,” Prague Deputy Mayor Adam Scheinherr (Praha sobě) said on Facebook.

The costs will be roughly 900 million CZK, of which 600 million CZK will go to purchasing 20 buses and 300 million CZK to infrastructure. The city has been testing different options for electric or hybrid buses to find which ones work best in Prague’s specific conditions.

The city wants to buy electric buses that use dynamic charging. The buses will be powered by batteries, which will be able to recharge from overhead electric lines while driving in some places. The new overhead contact lines will be built in both directions at some sections between Nádraží Veleslavín, Dědina and Terminal 3. The total length of the contact lines will be 4.8 kilometers. Charging would also take place in the turning area at Nádraží Veleslavín and at the airport.

The garage in Řepy will be the base for further development of electrific bus lines on the left bank of Prague.

In addition to line 119, the city intends to electrify buses on routes 112, 131 and 191. An electric bus has already been operating since last year on the line from Palmovka to Letňany. On the route, it uses cables to charge along Prosecka Street, where there is a large climb.

Once the rail connection to the airport is introduced, the electric buses can be moved to other routes. “We also already thinking about the time when people will be able to travel to the airport by train. The infrastructure and trolleybuses can easily be used elsewhere,” Scheinherr said.

“Electrification of bus transport is one of my long-term priorities, which will help life in Prague just as it has been done in Zurich, Linz and Nantes,” he added.

Electric trolley buses were first used in Prague starting August 9, 1936. The last one ran in Vinohrady on October 15, 1972.

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