“An extension of Prague’s public transport” – this is how representatives of Nextbike, the largest domestic bike-sharing company, talk about their upcoming project with the city administration.
The project was put in charge of the organizer of the Prague public transport Ropid, who after the completion of the test phase will evaluate the interest of passengers and propose further steps.
According to the city management, shared bicycles are a beneficial complement to public transport. “At short and medium distances, it is the most environmentally friendly individual means of transport,” says one of the representative.
The aim of the project is to verify the interest of Prague public transport passengers in the use of shared bicycles and to offer Lítačka owners another possibility of transport in the metropolis over shorter distances.
However, the idea of including shared bikes in the public transport system is already receiving criticism from Praguers. At the beginning of August, due to tariff changes, those passengers who were used to using one-off tickets when traveling by public transport will pay extra.
The half-hour ticket now costs CZK 30 instead of 24, and the 90-minute ticket is CZK 40. Some feel that their money would pay for other people’s bike rides.
“Of course, the amount that the city will give to Nextbike will be taken out from the fare prices. So will I personally pay for someone to rent a bike?” writes Tomáš Löbl on PID’s Facebook.
He is not alone in his criticism. “I also see it as a backdoor into the city budget. Let Prague take care of high-quality public transport and let people pay for bikes out of their own pocket,” writes Patrik Chrz.