Track work on the Metro C line. via DPP / Facebook

Prague’s metro and tram closures caused temporary chaos

Despite lots of advance warning, and an alternative bus service to cover the closed metro stops, there were long lines and chaos

Prague’s public transportation has improved over the near-collapse on July 1, but still has some problems. Planned maintenance work has disrupted the Metro C line between Pražského povstání and Kačerov, and tram service at part of the Anděl stop along Plzeňská Street.

The Metro C station closures will last until July 6. Some 8,600 wooden sleepers, or railroad ties, between the tracks are being replaced with concrete ones.

The closure was originally set to last to July 7, but was shortened one day due to the first of two Ed Sheeran concerts taking place at Letiště Letňany, near the Letňany stop on the C line.

Despite lots of advance warning, and an alternative bus service to cover the closed metro stops, there were long lines and chaos July 1. The Pražského povstání stop even had to be closed temporarily due to the overcrowding.

Posts on social media captured some of the chaos.

Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib (Pirates) promised the situation would improve. “The first working day of lockout is always challenging, the next days will be better. Pražského povstání station was not conceived as a transfer point, so the exits from the metro could not handle the onslaught of passengers,” he said in a Facebook post.

“We have mitigated the consequences of lockout by strengthening spare buses thanks to the Prague Integrated Transport (PID). The Prague Public Transit Company (DPP), in turn, has sent advisers to the site to advise passengers and help them to guide them. A police patrol unit is also helpful and we will also use the exit barriers for smoother operation,” he said, thanking people for their patience.

DPP on Twitter also promised to improve the situation, and made a sort of pun as the people giving out metro information were yellow vests, similar to protesters in France. The words for “rage” and “advise” are similar in Czech. The traffic advisers are called “informators” in Czech.

“Yellow vests ‘rage’ in Prague. Instead of cobblestones, however, they are holding information leaflets and igniting their brain cells instead of cars to advise passengers on the best connections. Most [advisers] occur in places affected by changes in public transport. So don’t be afraid to come to them for advice,” DPP said, posting several photos.

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DPP on Facebook said that heavy maintenance is always planned for times when usage of public transit is low, and July sees a drop outside of the center due to people taking vacations. They also apologized for the complications.

The tram closure at Anděl along Plzeňská Street is part of three phases of track work, which will extend to July 24. It affects the 9, 10, 15 and 16 tram lines. Delays in trams, which had been up to half an hour have improved but traffic problems in the area are expected to occur throughout the duration, as many people have turned to using cars instead.

During the summer there will also be repairs to tracks on Palackého náměstí, Rašínovo nábřeží, Spojovací Street, náměstí Bratří Synků and Na Poříčí. In addition, there will be restrictions on Francouzská,Street and the Zahradní Město underpasses.

Track work at Anděl. via Raymond Johnston

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