Prague - Prague city transport is often viewed as very efficient and one of the best in Europe by foreign visitors, which may not always be the case among Czechs.
Nonetheless, there are no strikes like in Paris and traffic jams and delays like in London and the Prague transport authority is continuously trying to enhance the system.
The latest enhancement afoot is to replace the traditional tickets with special electronic chip cards.
"We know that abroad the chip cards proved very practical. That way it is easier to trace down passangers without tickets," Aktuálně.cz was told by DPP's spokesman Ondřej Pečený.
Read more: Prague public transport SMS tickets awarded
Illegal transport riding is the primary reason why the company decided to introduce the electronic fare.
Chip cards could also be used in underground turnstiles, the re-introduction of which is being seriously considered by DPP. The turnstiles were taken down in the 1970s and Prague is one of the few cities in Europe that has no barriers in the metro entrance.
Passengers will have to have a special "open card", which will be issued by the Prague municipality.
Praguers will first have to fill in a request form, only then they will be sent the card via mail or they will receive it at special places.
In August, first passengers will be allowed to activate their cards. It will be the annual season tickets first that will become fully electronic. DPP also plans to allow buying monthly and quarterly season tickets online.
A special web portal will allow passengers to download credit.
A massive information campaign about the electronic cards is to be launched in August.
Electronic cards have been already in operation in Hradec Králové, Plzeň and Pardubice. Pardubice and Hradec Králové, both in eastern Bohemia, are even mulling unifying their systems.
autor: Pavel Baroch and Naďa Straková | 17. 7. 2008
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