Current Affairs Prague plans new metro line to serve southern suburbs
Prague City Hall has approved plans to build a new metro line in the capital which should serve the city’s southern districts. The cost of the projected new D line is estimated at 25 billion crowns or more. If Prague secures EU funding for the project, construction could start in 2017 and the line would open five years later.
The 10-kilometre D line is designed to serve the districts of Lhotka, Libuš, Nové Dvory and Písnice in the capital’s southern suburbs. These are now only covered by buses, and a metro line would be a major transport improvement for the inhabitants of several large housing estates located in the area. The line, which will be marked blue in the city’s metro scheme, should have six stations, one of them near one of the city’s busiest hospitals in Krč.
The idea of building a new metro line in this part of the city has been discussed for years. Last year environmental approval was acquired and a zoning permit is now being processed by the local authorities in Prague 4.
But while councillors rubber-stamped the project on Tuesday, officials have not made a decision on the actual route. Two alternatives are being considered: the D line will either become a branch of the existing A line, or it will be built as an independent route.
The costs of the first alternative are estimated at 24.7 billion crowns, or around 1.3 billion US dollars. The new line would be connected to the A line at the Pankrác station, and in peak hours, every third train on that line would run on the new route. The other option is to extend the Pankrác station where passengers would transfer to the new line. In this case, the costs would amount to 29 billion crowns.
The D line of the metro is another major transportation project in the capital. Construction is underway on the extension of the metro’s A line from Dejvická to Motol, in the west of the city. The new section should open in 2014.
Prague has already spent over half a billion crowns on the project before a spade has been turned and is looking elsewhere to raise funds for the actual construction. Indeed, without EU funding, the project will not go ahead, Prague Mayor Tomáš Hudeček says. The city is also planning to ask the state to cover part of the cost.
If Prague secures funding for the project, construction could begin in 2017 and the new line would open by the year 2022. In the future, the city also plans to connect the Pankrác station on line A and Náměstí míru on the B line. This would provide an alternate route to the Nusle Bridge, which is in bad need of a facelift.