As of March 18, 2021, Prague councilors approved stricter rules regarding buses’ entry into the city center, whilst trucks over 3.5 tonnes are prohibited.
Moreover, the new rules are to drive out irregular sightseeing tours for tourists, often operated by decade-old buses.
Tourist buses will need to have a clear route and timetable. From 1st of July next year, they will also have to meet at least the Euro 6 emission standard.
For a diesel vehicle to be Euro 6 compliant, it can’t emit more than 80mg/km of NOx (nitrogen oxides) gases, while a petrol vehicle can emit no more than 60mg/km.
According to the city management, before the pandemic, the intensity of commercial bus traffic was such that the center was jam-packed and saturated.
Councilors were also guided by efforts to improve the atmosphere, “When people from all over the world start to discover the beauties of Prague again, tourist bus operators will no longer do what they want in the streets of Prague,” says Scheinherr.
The regulation of bus transport in the center of Prague took place in the 1990s. In 1999, a zone was established for the prohibition of entry of trucks over 3.5 t and buses.
Operators may, however, obtain approval for entry, which has so far been decided by the director of the municipal department of roads. The councilors, therefore, wanted to give clear rules to the decision-making.
The zone will allow entry for buses with a public commitment, buses going to schools for children or retirement homes for the elderly, and one-off accommodation facilities with more than 50 beds.