The international service of Czech Radio 
14-11-2019, 06:45 UTC
Living Czech

Mind the gap, please, mind the gap...

Hello and welcome to Living Czech. I'm Nick Carey, and I am joined in the studio today by Jana Kotalikova. This week we will take a look public transport in Czech.

The main thing I should tell you about hromadná doprava, public transport in the Czech Republic, is that generally I think it is wonderfully laid out, though mainly in the cities. Prague of course is probably the best example, and far outdoes any public transport system that I have seen elsewhere. There is the metro, subway, which consists of three trasy, lines, the A, B, and C lines. The first trasa, the C line, was built in the 1970s and was then followed in the 1980s by the A and B lines, though I have no idea why they built them in that order. All the lines have been extended in recent years and there are plans for further extension. There are even plans to build a new, circular trasa D, a line around the outskirts of the city, but apparently there is not enough money for that yet.

Travelling by metro, subway, is remarkably easy, particularly during peak times of the day, when you can expect a vlak, train, to come approximately every two minutes. Things slow down later in the day, when the average time between vlaky, trains, can be up to twelve minutes late at night and at the weekends. The metro closes down at midnight and opens up again at five o'clock in the morning.

Then we have the trusty tramvaj, or tram. There is an extensive tramvaj network throughout the city. Though Prague is the only city in the country where you will find metro, you can find trams in most of the larger cities of the Czech Republic. The tramvajová sí» covers a great portion of Prague, and there are tram stops at almost all metro stations. Like the metro, you can expect a tramvaj roughly every five minutes or so during peak time, and in the late evening they come at intervals of twenty minutes. The best thing about the tram system is the noèní tramvaj, or night tram, which runs every forty minutes throughout the night, which is a great service. In the summer of course, you can just wander along and wait for a tram to turn up, but in the winter when the temperatures plummet to minus twenty or lower, it is highly recommended to find out the exact times, otherwise you'll freeze, have to go back to the pub, or get a taxi.

And finally there are the autobusy, or buses. As with the trams, there is a night service. Buses tend to cover the outlying areas of any city. They are more erratic than the metro or the tramvaj, but are still fairly regular.

Now, those are the main forms of hromadná doprava, public transport available, but there is one final element I would like to deal with, and this is the revizor, or ticket inspector, a dreaded figure on all these forms of transport. The revizor is never dressed in uniform, and will sidle up to you and thrust out his or her hand, and in their palm you will notice a tiny badge. Now, most people, myself included, think when this first happens to them that the revizor is actually an itinerant badge seller trying to ply their wares, and will try to wave them away. This is unfortunately not the case, and if you are caught without a ticket, you have to pay a fine on the spot. A handy tip, however, is that you are at your most likely to see a revizor on the busier tram routes, in the metro, except during the first few days of every month when they are everywhere trying to catch people who haven't renewed their travel passes. Just a word for the wise there. Or the wicked, as the case may be.

Well, that's all we have time for this week. Next week we will take a look at the winter in Czech. Until then, mìjte se pùvabnì, or take care.

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