Jul 25, 2023

Increasing Fares in Prague Public Transport? “Current Prices Are Unbearable,” Says DPP Director

In response to DPP Director Petr Witowski’s statement to Hospodářské noviny, in which he called the current public transport fares “unaffordable in the long term”, Deputy Mayor Zdeněk Hřib (Piráti) clarified that the pricing decisions for Prague’s public transport do not lie with the transport company (DPP) director but with the city’s management.

Hřib previously stated that the municipality has no intentions to increase fares. However, Finance Councillor Zdeněk Kovářík (ODS) countered this stance, arguing that considering the substantial financial support the city provides to DPP, a debate on fare levels would be necessary.

Notably, the last increase in individual ticket prices in Prague occurred in 2021, and the cost of an annual voucher has remained unchanged since 2015 when the previous city administration lowered it to CZK 3,650.

In the previous year, DPP amassed approximately CZK 3.5 billion in fare revenues, while the city contributed CZK 16.2 billion to support the company’s operations.

In an interview with Hospodářské noviny, Director Witowski acknowledged that politicians set the fares, but he emphasized that the portion of costs covered by DPP from fare sales is remarkably low even when compared internationally.

Before the pandemic, the company’s fare revenue covered about 21 percent of its costs, whereas currently, it only accounts for around 16 percent. Witowski asserted that aiming for a more sustainable figure of approximately 35 percent, in the long run, would be optimal.

Deputy Mayor Zdeněk Hřib clarified that the only focus for now will be on promoting electronic ticketing solutions and encouraging passengers to adopt them. Hřib emphasized that the authority to set fares lies with the city’s management, not the Director of DPP, as Deputy Witowski reiterated on Monday.

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However, City Councilman for Finance, Kovářík added that budget allocation to public transport has been on a constant rise, reaching a significant percentage for Prague. Kovářík emphasized the importance of addressing this issue and making a well-considered decision.

The last increase in individual ticket prices for Prague’s public transport occurred on 1st August 2021. Notably, the price of a 30-minute ticket increased from CZK 24 to CZK 30, while a 90-minute ticket rose from CZK 32 to CZK 40.

Similarly, SMS tickets also saw a price increase, with the 30-minute ticket going up from CZK 24 to CZK 31 and the 90-minute ticket rising from CZK 32 to CZK 42.

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