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Uncertain times for city transport

Starting in January, Czechs will pay more for public transport.

  • Autor: Respekt
• Autor: Respekt
Autor fotografie: Matěj Stránský • Autor: Respekt
Autor fotografie: Matěj Stránský • Autor: Respekt

Starting in January, Czechs will pay more for public transport. In addition to much-debated Prague, more expensive tickets are awaiting residents in 10 large cities from Plzeň to Ostrava. All town halls come up with the same arguments, citing more expensive energy, higher VAT and growing wage demands from employees as factors increasing transport costs.

There is an impending question, though: How will higher fares influence city transport? Will droves of people switch from buses to cars? According to statistics, there is no reason to panic: the announced fare hikes are not the first in this country, and about one in two city residents still use public transport.

„Besides, the fare is not the decisive factor for passengers,“ says Jiří Novotný from Centrum dopravního výzkumu, a transport-research centre. He says there is no direct relation between an increase in fares and an outflow of passengers. „What really matters is the overall quality of services,“ says Novotný. Higher prices could bring higher quality, but city councillors do not mention that much.

Spending a while on my own

„In the past two years, passengers have been less interested in public transport,“ says Jan Řehák, deputy mayor of Chomutov. The town hall has commissioned a survey to find out why. It also plans to increase fares in Chomutov…

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