Prague will soon get a new attraction. The Prague Public Transport Company will start using a Mercedes-Benz Capacity L bus, which is the longest in Europe, on a line connecting the city with Vaclav Havel International Airport on its north-western outskirts, daily Mladá fronta Dnes reports.
As of mid-February, the 21-metre-long bus will shuttle between Veleslavín station on the metro’s A-line and Vaclav Havel Airport, a route used by most passengers going to or from the airport. It will complement smaller-capacity busses currently covering the route.
In view of the growing number of tourists shuttling between the airport and city centre daily the smaller capacity busses no longer suffice and the Prague Public Transport Company has been looking around for higher capacity vehicles. The Mercedes-Benz Capacity L bus can accomodate 191 passengers. Apart from the Mercedes Benz, the transport company is also testing another high-capacity bus, a bi-articulated 24-metre-long bus from another producer.
The local length limit for buses is 18.75 metres, which the new busses exceed by several metres. Both new busses have been granted an exemption, Mladá fronta Dnes writes.
The need for higher capacity buses first emerged in 2014 with a significant increase in passengers using Vaclav Havel Airport. 2015 only confirmed the trend and the burden on public transport is likely to grow this year.
A number of new regular long-distance flights will connect Prague and China, and Prague and North America this year, while the Emirates carrier will start using Airbus A380, the world's biggest transport aircraft, on its line to Prague.
The Mercedes-Benz Capacity L bus, and possibly the other high-capacity bus being tested, should reinforce the 119 bus line until the city puts a planned railway connection to the airport into operation. Afterwards, similar long buses may be introduced on other lines in the city, the paper writes.